The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio. You hear a
little blurb about a little village in India where some villagers have died
suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before. It's not
influenza, but three or four fellows are dead, and it's kind of interesting. They're
sending some doctors over there to investigate it. You don't think much about
it, but on Sunday, coming home from church, you hear another radio spot.
Only they say it's not three villagers, it's 30,000 villagers in the back hills
of this particular area of India, and it's on TV that night. CNN runs a
little blurb; people are heading there from the disease center in Atlanta because
this disease strain has never been seen before.
By Monday morning when you get up, it's the lead story. For it's not just
India; it's Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and before you know it, you're hearing
this story everywhere and they have coined it now as the "Mystery Flu". The
President has made some comment that he and everyone are praying and hoping
that all will go well over there. But everyone is wondering, "How are we going
to contain it?"
That's when the President of France makes an announcement that shocks
Europe. He is closing their borders. No flights from India, Pakistan, or any of the
countries where this thing has been seen.
That night you are watching a little bit of CNN before going to bed. Your
jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman is translated from a French news
program into English: "There's a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the
mystery flu. "It has come to Europe." Panic strikes.
As best they can tell, once you get it, you have it for a week and you don't
know it. Then you have four days of unbelievable symptoms. Then you die.
Britain closes it's borders, but it's too late. South Hampton, Liverpool,
North Hampton, and it's Tuesday morning when the President of the United States
makes the following announcement: "Due to a national security risk, all
flights to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled. If your loved ones are
overseas, I'm sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this
Within four days our nation has been plunged into an unbelievable fear.
People are selling little masks for your face. People are talking about, "What if
it comes to this country", and preachers on Tuesday are saying, "It's the
scourge of God."
It's Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody
runs in from the parking lot and says, "Turn on a radio!! Turn on a radio!!"
While the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck
up to it, the announcement is made, "Two women are lying in a Long Island
hospital from the mystery flu." Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps
across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an
Nothing is working. California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts.
It's as though it's just sweeping is from the borders. Then, all of a sudden,
the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine
can be made. It's going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been infected,
and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest, through all those channels of
emergency broadcasting, everyone is asked to do one simple thing: "Go to your
downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That's all we ask of you.
When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way
quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals."
Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday
night, there is a long line, and they've got nurses and doctors coming out and
pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. Your wife andyour
kids are out there, and they take your blood type and they say, "Wait here in
the parking lot and it we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home."
You stand around scared with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is
going on, and that this could be the end of the world. Suddenly a young man
comes running out of the hospital screaming. He's yelling a name and waving a
clipboard. What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and
says, "Daddy, that's me." Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy.
"Wait a minute, hold it!" And they say, "It's okay, his blood is clean. His
blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn't have the disease. We think he
has got the right type. Your son could save the world." Five agonizing
minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging one another, and
some are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a
week. An old doctor walks up to you and says,
"Thank you, sir. Your son's blood type is perfect. It's clean, It's pure,
and we can make the vaccine."
As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot of folks, people
are screaming and praying and laughing and crying. But then the gray-haired
doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, "May we see you for a moment? We
didn't realize that the donor would be a minor and we need.....we need you to
sign a consent form." You begin to sign and then you see that the number of
pints of blood to be taken is empty. "H-h-h-how many pints?" And that is when
the old doctor's smile fades and he says, "We had no idea it would be a
little child. We weren't prepared. We need it all, sir."
the world here. Please sign." "But can't you give him a "But...but..
"You don't understand. We are talking about th
In numb silence you do. Then they say, "Would you like to have a moment with
him before we begin?" Can you walk back? You ask yourself. Can you walk back
to that room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going
on?" Can you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you, and we
would never ever let anything happen to you that didn't just have to be. Do you
And when that old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry, we've got to
get started. People all over the world are dying." Can you leave? Can you walk
out while your son is saying, "Dad? Mom? Dad? Why have you forsaken me?"
And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some
folks sleep through it, and some folks don't even come because they go to the
lake, and some folks come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care.
Would you want to jump up and say, "MY SON DIED! DON'T YOU CARE?"
Is that what God is saying? "MY SON DIED. DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?"