This is the time of year, in my job as a school nurse, that I like to see where we are with the annual spread of the influenza. Missouri has just recently been upgraded to “local” instead of “sporadic”, which is not bad considering it’s February (at this writing).
Understand, this is just about the true flu, not the stomach flu, not strep throat, not “just a cold”. This is the one, if you’re smart (in my not-so-humble opinion), you get a vaccine for, especially if you work every day among all those walking petri dishes known as school children.
I once had a middle schooler tell me that it was okay with him if he got the flu, presumably so that he could stay home from school.
Yet another evidence that the prepubescent frontal lobe is not yet fully formed.
The influenza is bad, like, r-e-a-l-l-y bad. High fever, cough, aches, you feel like you’re gonna die, and sometimes wish you could. And in fact, people still do, die that is, from the true flu. So, despite what my sweet middle schoolers might think, I’m quite pleased about “The Map” for this time of year where I live.
I can only imagine and try to appreciate what was happening to Simon Peter’s wife with her mother being so very ill (and probably highly contagious) when Jesus came for a visit.
“Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them.”
Right. No “don’t worry, Mom, we’ll just have leftovers, you go and rest.” No “here, Mom, let us take care of the dishes, you put your feet up.” I am fascinated by the woman’s response. There seemingly was no sense of victimhood entitlement, no pity party, not even an inkling of self indulgence. What was her response to this healing (or we could fill in “deliverance, provision” or any number of God’s other good, good gifts to us)?
Service. Paying it forward by serving others was her way of paying it back to the One who cared for her the most. Instead, we often find (including in ourselves, the church) an unhealthy sense of ownership, of what I feel is “due” me for all the hardship I’ve endured. Or there’s the temptation to hoard my good fortune (truly a misnomer) for fear of losing it again.
I don’t think Jesus was terribly concerned about where or what He was going to eat that evening. But I do think He was interested in what that dear woman would do with the gift He had just handed to her.
We are blessed so that we can serve. And serving is contagious also, but for a Christian, there is no vaccine.
Mark 1:30, 31 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt Book 2) (Kindle Locations 5792-5794). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.