The Throw Up Bug

Don’t know about your neck of the woods, but over here in ours, the stomach virus (aka “Throw Up Bug”) has arrived and wants everyone to know it.  It’s here.  And it’s not pretty.

That little pest is finished with our youngest son, but now our middle son is struggling to get rid of it.   That’s how this usually proceeds through our family. It starts with the youngest, and ends with the oldest.  I guess I could base that on size, instead of age, since the two are proportionate in our family.  I remember one time when that bug was trying to leave our house after we all had a turn being sick, the dog showed us she could catch it.  The dog!  That was not pretty, either.

Between the two of us last night, neither the middle son nor myself got much sleep.  His trips to the bathroom could be counted by the sound of the toilet seat lid smacking the back of the porcelain tank.  Like contractions, shortly after every crack of that toilet seat, I knew there would follow a good 20 minutes of peace.  5:30am this morning was at the beginning of one of those stretches.  I opened my computer and began the emails to alert the school, work, and church of the middle son’s illness, since he and I would both be absent from our obligations for the day.  I noticed that our oldest son, who is in another country right now, was online.  I sent him a brief note, through instant messaging, asking him to pray for his brother as he battles the bug.

After I hit the send button, I smiled to myself quickly, thinking, “Oh, you lucky boy!  You are not in our house right now to take your turn with the bug.”

Our oldest replied:

“When I was writing in my journal earlier, I had a stomach pain.  It came and left quickly, but I felt that I needed to pray for someone who was having pain.”

Wow.  Still connected, across the seas.

Then he asked me to put my hands on his brother and pray over him for healing.

Hmmm.  I have spent the last 3 days Lysoling anything that doesn’t move and bleaching towels.  I have cleaned up mess.  I have Clorox-wiped every solid surface over and over again.  But I had not done this.  I had not put my hands on my children in prayer.  They were full of germs!  I thought about wiping them down with a disinfectant sponge, but that thought left quickly, since I figured the chemicals would probably not be good for their skin (you can laugh, I wouldn’t really have done that!).

Four minutes later, I replied to our oldest son with this message:

“Done!”

In the remaining 12 minutes of peace, I thought about Jesus and how he laid his hands on hundreds of people, healing them.  My heart was convicted, because here I had been “not touching” my children, who are of my own flesh and blood, because I was a little germ-scared.  Believe me, my hands and fingers are wrinkled, as if I have been in a swimming pool for hours, from the amount of cleaning solvents I’ve been using.  No germ is going to want me if it has to touch my hands first.  I was convicted because I knew that outside of my protective hedge, I would not think of laying my hands on the filthy.  The unclean.  Yet, this is what I should be willing to do, because my Saviour has done so for me.

Wow, indeed.

At 1:15 pm today, in the midst of a peaceful slumber, it appears that the bug is finished with family member number two.  Will it leave our house, or will it find me, I wonder.  I take a few minutes to sit down and read a little in a bible study book.  The passage before me reads:

“Is anyone among you sick?  Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”     ~James 5: 14-15

Father, thank you for showing me where I am weak, and for my convicted heart.  I long to reflect the love of your son, Jesus Christ, in my everyday, and every way, whether it’s within the confines of my home, or outside of my comfort zone.  When I am weak, Father, you are strong,  I am confident that you are the strength I need to overcome my weaknesses.  I thank you for your love, and for your faithfulness, and for all the times you reach down and touch me when I am filthy, unclean, and unworthy.  

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