[invisible forces]

[invisible forces]

everyone around talks about the A/H1N1 pandemic that broke out in Ukraine. being an observer, it was interesting to watch people’s reactions to the news. some panicked, some decided that it isn’t worth the panic, some thought it’s a conspiracy theory against election meetings, some…

with schools and universities closed down for three weeks, there were considerably less people in the public transportation today and i had an  opportunity to actually watch people instead of just minding where i step since one inch right or left and i would step on someone, like it usually happens.

i couldn’t help but notice people in masks. Ukrainian government is not really smart in this area (as well as in many other) and therefore there were not enough masks manufactured in preparation for a possible pandemic. as a result, those people who were lucky, got normal facial masks. others made the masks out of gauze. still others used scarves and turtleneck sweatshirts for protection. i belonged to the fourth group – those without the masks.

as i walked down the metro the story of Gideon popped into my mind… the way he was choosing (or the way God was choosing) the soldiers for the army.

God said to Gideon: “There are still too many. Take them down to the stream and I’ll make a final cut. When I say, ‘This one goes with you,’ he’ll go. When I say, ‘This one doesn’t go,’ he won’t go.” So Gideon took the troops down to the stream.

God said to Gideon: “Everyone who laps with his tongue, the way a dog laps, set on one side. And everyone who kneels to drink, drinking with his face to the water, set to the other side.” Three hundred lapped with their tongues from their cupped hands. All the rest knelt to drink.

Judges 7:4-6, the Message

was i like the ones who kneeling to drink, without thinking about the danger? was it reckless to not wear a mask? “maybe i should get myself one…” i thought to myself, but still the idea seemed silly to me.

with those thoughts in mind, i came to work and we had staff meeting. our boss whom i respect started talking about the flu and preventive measures. “masks don’t do nada. if they do anything, they help the bacteria circulate inside the mask instead of letting it out and as a result make the situation even worse and risk of contamination a lot higher. the virus is so small that it will get through the mask anyway.”

the virus is so small…

that triggered another set of musings… it felt odd to walk on the street and see people in masks. a bit surreal even. the day seemed to be just like another day. sun rose, i rose as well… showering, dressing, leaving home… everything just like on any other day, yet different.

something changed. something was in the air. literally.

it makes me grin wryly that people can easily believe that a minuscule virus can wreck havoc in a human body and make it die… but at the same time don’t see what God is doing in their lives.

read a joke recently… “people’s faith is weird. you tell them there are 4 billion stars out there and they believe you. you tell them that the bench is painted and they have to go and check it out.”

why is it easier to believe in a virus and not in God? just because you can see the virus?

so what? most people have no idea what virus looks like. they have never seen any cells. yet, they believe it.

God? oh no… believing that God is real is so tough. it’s easier to believe that the Universe just decided to be.

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.

Hebrews 11:1-3, the Message

…what we see created by what we don’t see.

and you know? there actually is no A/H1N1 virus in Kyiv yet. it is in Western Ukraine. not over here. yet people are still wearing masks… believing that will help them. placebo…

but i guess wearing a mask is easier than taking up your cross and following Him.

  • Jessica Hagelgans

    It's easier to hide behind a mask than to be vulnerable….there's another tangent for you…

  • Hey! I wandered over from xanga. I still can't believe that you think that you couldn't post this on xanga… *shrug* The surgical masks were designed to keep bacteria IN not out (think about it – surgeons wear masks in the operating room to prevent their exhaled bacteria from infecting the surgical patient). The ideal situation is that only the sick people should be wearing masks. The only mask that can prevent the virus from getting to you is an N95 mask or a self contained breathing apparatus… The news reported that in the US about 70% of flu cases in October were H1N1. So far our household has been spared.

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