Who would’ve thought that we in Texas, only a few weeks away from Halloween, would be discussing the pros and cons of traveling to Dallas because a deadly virus is growing there? Who could’ve imagined that we would be reading articles about disaster prep, while scenes from the Walking Dead or some other fantastically horrible contagion flick from the 90s runs through our heads? I mean, really. Some of the stuff people are posting on social media these days is enough to make a normally sane mama get a little wacky.
Like, today. I read an article about the proper way to quarantine your family if the worst should happen. The article was all about not letting your “outside” family members come inside the house until they had been held in isolation for a month to make sure they aren’t contagious. No one goes out, no one comes in, the article warned. And, the whole time, all I could think was, If this ever happens, I am going to die.
Because the extreme prepper mentality, the let’s-hoard-all-the-water-and-the-guns-and-all-the-supplies-and-not-let-anyone-have-any way of doing things, it’s just not, oh, I don’t know, it’s not Christian. Can you imagine Lottie Moon, beloved Christian missionary to China, saying to her starving friends, I’m sorry, but what I have is for me, not you?
It is the way of things, though, when people get scared. When fear begins to take us over, we find that we simply can’t think of anyone other than ourselves. We know we are getting into that self-centered danger zone when we begin to feel relief that the horrors are happening to someone other than us. We begin to believe that as long as other people, far away people, are the ones dealing with the troubles, then that is certainly better for everyone. Except, of course, for the far away people who are dealing with the troubles.
And, because human beings are historically a fearful lot, we are perfectly satisfied with Ebola existing in other nations, so long as it doesn’t dare touch a nasty little toe in our neighborhood. I’m not preaching. Okay, I am. To myself.
I guess I have just been amazed in the past week by how easily spooked we are. How complacent we are about the evils that exist in far away places, and how quickly we go into every-man-for-himself mode.
I pray that when real disaster does strike someday we will be braver than we think. That we will be tough enough, bold enough, to let people in instead of locking them out. Because, let’s face it: real bravery is not about self-preservation. And, neither is real Christianity.