It's either something you crave or something you avoid (usually depending on the circumstances).
The news has been relentless the past couple of days regarding "Ebola" coverage. There have been moments of clarity and perspective, but most of the news almost seems to be poised to get you to keep watching the news. "We're going to tell you something else to freak out about, right after the commercial. Then later, something even worse. Keep watching."
All of this has likely led you to recognize what you fear, and what you have faith in.
What should a loving Christian to do? Shall we continue to extend care and embrace all we come in contact with... just as Jesus would? Is this a time for revival - for boldly reaching out to others and helping them know the assurance of God, heaven and eternity? What about how we live?
A friend of mine wrote this:
"Jesus didn't seem to teach His disciples to be cautious of anything that may threaten their own health/life. People’s eternal health is far greater than their/our earthly health, and if we need to step into the forbidden zone to present the Gospel of hope, then we do so with complete trust in God. I don’t think Jesus touching those with leprosy and healing them was only to display His power, but to also show his disciples how far the term “neighbor” extends. (I wonder how long it took for His disciples to shake His hand after those encounters…)"
Yes, we still live in the world - but, no... we are ultimately not bound to its current state. There is some wisdom in wondering ahead of the curve how we might need to prepare in advance for things taking a turn for the worse. However, we do need to determine if we will do so in advance panic or in advance assurance. God gave you emotions for a reason... to process things, expressing joy over things worth praising most, and expressing tears as you break over what matters most.
So... what matters most?
God doesn't need you to have enough faith to do it all... but to have enough to take the first step.
- A word: Speak a blessing into another person. There's always something they could be doing better... how about telling that person what he/she is doing right?
- A look: Put your phone down. Close your laptop. Take the bluetooth off. Quit looking at your watch. Let another person know you're really, really paying attention and that you don't have to scooch along. Give yourself a half hour to "waste" by lingering with others around you.
- A touch: It could be an appropriately-placed hand on someone's shoulder. It might be an extra few seconds hugging a family member. It might be making space for your neighbors in your mini-van after inviting them to play paintball this weekend. It could be a God-honoring kiss, praising Him as you share affection with your affection. You'll know the moment as it presents itself... if you pay attention.
Is this finally the time for you and I to become imitators of Jesus... carriers of real hope and assurance... into the lives of neighbors, co-workers, friends and family?
Can we make some news, instead of merely watch the news?
"God did powerful things through Paul, things quite out of the ordinary. The word got around and people started taking pieces of clothing—handkerchiefs and scarves and the like—that had touched Paul’s skin and then touching the sick with them. The touch did it—they were healed and whole." (Acts 19:11-12, The Message)