Pussy cat, pussy cat

where have you been?

I’ve been to London

to visit the Queen.

Pussy cat, pussy cat

what’d you do there?

I went to a brief on the Ebola scare.

“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38 NLT

As my continually, personally attended and privately packed suitcase was hoisted onto the scales at London’s Heathrow International Airport, anxiety akin to the feeling I have at Weight Watcher meetings began to creep over me.  There were no liquids, sharps or anything extra someone else may have tucked  inside my suitcase, however, in addition to half the clothes I never wore during my visit, there was now carefully crammed inside  a slate coaster from Cardigan, Wales, bars of Yardley English Lavender soap, a tin of English Breakfast Tea, a few fine china items purchased at a charity shop and a new coat.  I worried that I would exceed the baggage weight limit.  As visions of being “that guy” doing a hasty repack of dirty laundry in the waiting area added an extra glow to my complexion, I actually said out loud, “Thank you, Jesus!” when the check-in attendant said, “You’re all set,” and handed me back my passport.

Once I was settled and seated with my cell phone set on airplane mode and headphones dulling the hum of jet engines, I pulled a yellow pad of paper from my “personal item” carry-on bag and reviewed the notes I’d taken during a brief given by epidemiologist, Karen Shaw at Putney Boathouse Church.  Putney Boathouse Church is also the church where, the following Sunday, my year old grandson, Luke Alexander Johnston, was dedicated to the Lord in a beautiful and spiritually significant ceremony.

Karen, who I knew to be the pastor’s wife, song leader and a nurse began her brief “Ebola, Christianity the Media and How To Respond,” with a humbly presented list of credentials that immediately captured my attention.   Her expertise as an infectious disease nurse with first-hand knowledge in public health epidemiology, included her position as a first and rapid responder with the Global Outbreak Team working with the World Health Organization in 37 countries combating epidemics that included outbreaks such as SARS and Avian Flu.

What I gleaned from Karen was the specific ways in which Ebola is spread and contracted and the desperate need for greater education in areas of outbreaks.  Though cautious concern and preparedness are indeed needed, the fear fostered by media specialists primarily focused  on high viewer ratings has caused more harm than good.  In addition to the knowledge I acquired during Karen’s brief, I left reassured by the Biblical reminder not to fear bad news but rather confidently trust the Lord to care for me and, with a rekindled sense urgency to sensibly share with others the reminder that all the sons and daughters of Adam have been infected from birth with a virus more serious and deadly than Ebola. That virus is the virus of sin which can only be cured through belief in Jesus and the blood He shed for all mankind on the cross. (Psalm 112:7 and I John 1:7)

The next time you see a sign outside WalMart or your local pharmacy for “free flu shots” let it be a reminder to thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus, who provided the onlyimmunization and cure for the virus of sin and its eternal consequences.

Next Tuesday is Veteran’s Day and you don’t want to miss an on-line visit via the direct link below to see the astonishing display of ceramic poppies surrounding the Tower of London.  I had hoped to see the poppies during my visit but the site has drawn crowds so large that, at one point, the subway system was so completely overwhelmed it had to be closed and people have been asked to stay away.  Though I was unable to see personally see London’s poppy display, next Tuesday I will certainly wear an American Legion Auxiliary poppy in honor of all the military veterans who are members of my family and the veterans of other families supported  through the efforts of  True Blue Community™.

Click here to see the London poppy display

bit.ly/1o1EF8n l

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