Today a friend called the church about one of our members, who was suffering headache, fever, and chills, and had lost her sense of taste. In other words, she was suffering many of the symptoms of the coronavirus. This friend donned a mask and gloves and took her to a clinic -- actually, the parking lot of a clinic -- where she was tested. Now both women must stay in quarantine, awaiting the results.
Several other members of St. Andrew have asked prayers for their children and grandchildren who are on the front lines of the pandemic, serving hospitals in New York City and Atlanta. We all know people who are working at South Baldwin, doctors' offices, and other places despite the risks.
I suppose we will find, in the coming days, that the story is coming close to home. It's not unlike what Simon the fisherman experienced at the outset of his ministry. After Jesus was baptized by John, he returned to Galilee and made a home in Capernaum, staying first with Simon. Many people came to Jesus seeking relief from illnesses; meanwhile, Simon's mother-in-law lay in bed with a fever.
Simon saw many people cured, but what really made an impression on him -- what drew him into Jesus' ministry -- was when Jesus took Simon's mother-in-law by the hand, lifted her up, and restored her to health. He would go on to see even greater wonders, but that one came close to home.
As this virus travels from other parts of the country and begins to make itself felt here, we will begin living a chapter of the gospel -- a chapter that we may never have imagined for ourselves, but one that could open our hearts just as fully as Simon's was opened.