The quarantine shocked us all. Nobody expected the world to be shutdown. Of all things, people raced to acquire toilet paper. One evening I saw a local pastor, filling her cart with as much toilet paper as she could carry. Later, I saw her post on social media that she would be completely unavailable. In that moment, I realized that wiping her ass was much more important to her than loving her neighbor. Unfortunately, she was not alone. In other posts, I saw pastor after pastor declare that they were unavailable. Deeply convicted, I made a covenant with God that wherever there was a need I would go.
There was the abused woman trying to move her stuff out of her house. I wonder if I got it from the screaming husband.
There was the fleeing woman that needed my assistance finding a place to hide. I wonder if I got it from the front desk clerk.
There was the troubled man who was suicidal and just needed a friend. I wonder if I got it from some of the others who came to help.
There was the homeless man who had nothing to eat. I wonder if I got it from someone in the restaurant.
Despite wearing every type of protection I could get my hands on, I still got it.
In interview after interview, I called on other pastors to take the same risks I did to help their communities. Few heard me. Many even had the nerve to criticize me when I was diagnosed with the virus. These worthless vessels of godlessness had the nerve to attack the sick guy rather than actually getting out and helping the sick.
Early in the week, I developed a slight fever…then came the headaches…then came the coughing. Despite the pandemic, I was positive that I just had a routine sickness. I figured it was just a minor case of the flu or a sinus infection. In the past, I’d just been able to sleep any sickness off. When I started being unable to get out of the bed, I realized that things were getting serious. Still, I tried to convince myself that I could handle it. I was wrong. Ultimately, I started having trouble breathing…I couldn’t stay hydrated…I could feel my kidneys not working properly. Early one morning, I knew that I couldn’t take it anymore. In the midst of the pain, I drove myself to the hospital and was immediately admitted. The diagnosis was COVID19. I was told that I likely contracted the disease from some of the people that I’d helped. For three days, I precariously laid in a hospital bed alone. During those long hours, I prayed and prayed. Visions came and went. Repeatedly, God revealed to me that God runs to the sick and not away from them. This beautiful affirmation was the fruit of the virus for me.