Why Ebola Isn’t A Matter To Joke About

This afternoon  I watched Twitter explode again as news broke of an infected person being cared for in Dallas. Some of the responses were misguided and unfortunate panic. Some were to mock and joke about the terrible disease. Both responses are hard for me to hear, not necessarily because my mom had Ebola, but because of what is still happening in Western Africa to people in communities that are facing this terrible disease. The reality of it and the horror is overwhelming. I write this not to shame anyone, but to ask us to speak carefully about the plight of our fellow human beings who are suffering and to not make comedy the terrible things of this world. I want to call us to prayer and action to fight Ebola and to care for suffering people. Let the facts below help bring some sober judgement and resolute action as to how to deal with Ebola in the US and the world.

UNICEF reported this about the plight of children in Western Africa yesterday:

At least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to Ebola since the start of the outbreak in West Africa, according to preliminary UNICEF estimates, and many are being rejected by their surviving relatives for fear of infection.

“Thousands of children are living through the deaths of their mother, father or family members from Ebola,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West & Central Africa, who just returned from a two-week visit to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “These children urgently need special attention and support; yet many of them feel unwanted and even abandoned. Orphans are usually taken in by a member of the extended family, but in some communities, the fear surrounding Ebola is becoming stronger than family ties.”

And this video from Liberia is haunting and horrific. 

SIM, my parents mission agency, has begun a week-long call to pray for the end of Ebola. Visit their site here: http://praytoendebola.org

All Who Are Weary

The true servant of God should mark well the feature in Christ’s character which is here brought out, and rest his soul upon it. The best among us must often see in himself a vast amount of defects and infirmities, and must feel ashamed of his poor attainments in religion. But do we simply believe in Jesus? Do we cling to Him, and roll all our burdens on Him? Can we say with sincerity and truth, as Peter said afterwards, “Lord, Thou knowest all things: Thou knowest that I love Thee?” Then let us take comfort in the words of Christ before us, and not give way to despondency. The Lord Jesus did not despise the eleven because of their feebleness, but bore with them and saved them to the end, because they believed. And He never changes. What He did for them, He will do for us.

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, vol. 3 (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1880), 170.