Sometimes you run across stories that never leave you no matter how long ago it was you read them. This is one of them. I have been thinking a lot about it lately and a friend of mine found it on the Internet for me. Please read it to the end. It is one of the most emotional stories I’ve ever read and illustrates Jesus dying for us in a most poignant way. If you’ve read it before, read it again. It grips the heart…..
On Sunday coming home from church you hear another radio spot. Only this time it is not three villagers; its 30,000 villagers in the back hills of this particular area of India. That night it is even on TV. CNN runs a little story: People are heading there from the disease center in Atlanta because this disease strain has never been seen before. Monday morning when you get up it is the lead story. Only now it is not just India, it is Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Before you know it, you are hearing this story everywhere, and they have coined it as “The Mystery Flu”.
Even the President has some comment that he and everyone are praying and hoping that all will go well over there. But people are starting to wonder, “How are we going to contain it?” Then the President of France made an announcement that shocked the entire world. He is closing their borders. No flights from India, Pakistan or any of the countries 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 you 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 is closing its borders, but it is too late. South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton. Tuesday morning, 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 thing.”
Within four days our nation has been plunged into an unbelievable fear. People are selling little masks for your face. Many are talking about “What if it comes to this country?” and a preacher on the news suggested that this is “The scourge of God”. On Wednesday night, you are at church for a meeting. Suddenly someone runs in and shouts “Turn on a radio, turn on a radio!” And while you listen to the little transistor radio the announcement is made, “Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu.” Within hours, it seems this thing sweeps across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote, but nothing is working. Then all of a sudden the news comes out. That has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It is going to take the blood of somebody who hasn’t been infected. Sure enough, all through the Midwest on 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.
When you and your family get down there on a Friday night, there is a long line, and they have nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. They tell you “Wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home.” So you stand around, scared, talking with your neighbors and wondering together about what in the world is going on. Is this the end of the world?
Suddenly a young man comes out of the hospital screaming. He’s yelling a name and waving a clipboard. He yells it again. Your son tugs on your jacket and says, “Daddy, that’s me.” Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. They say, “Its 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.”
Five minutes later out come the doctors and the nurses crying and hugging one another. Some are even laughing. It is the first time you have seen anyone laugh in a week. An old doctor walks up to you and says, “Thank you, sir. Your son’s blood type is perfect. It is clean and pure and we can make the vaccine.”
As the word begins to spread across the parking lot, people start 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 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. “How many pints are you going to take?” you ask. That’s when the old doctor’s smile fades and he says, “we had no idea it would be a little child and we weren’t prepared. We need it all! But you see, we are talking about the world here. Please sign the form.”
“But can’t you give him a transfusion?” you ask. The doctor responds, “If we had clean blood we would. Would you sign?”
In numb silence you do. Then they say, “would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?” Can you walk back to that room?
When you are there, your son asks, “Mommy? Daddy? What’s going on?” Can you take his hands and say, “Son, your mommy and I love you and we would never let anything happen to you that didn’t have to be. Do you understand that?”
Then the 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 he is saying, “Mom, Dad? Why have you forsaken me?”
And the 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?”
Do you suppose that’s what God wants to say? “My Son died. Don’t you know much I care?”
Father, seeing it from your eyes breaks hearts. Maybe now we can begin to comprehend the great love you have for us. AMEN.