Monday, March 30, 2020

Will Americans tempt God by packing churches Easter Sunday?

I dreamed last night that my north Georgia friend D and I got married. I'm sure that was not on his, nor his wife's, wish list, nor on mine. So, what did the dream mean? I started guessing. 

Then, I noticed in in my Apple News an article from yesterday's Los Angeles Times about a church in Washington state: 

60 people came to a choir practice. Now dozens have COVID-19 and 2 are dead.
The deadly outbreak among members of a choir has stunned health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms.

Read in Los Angeles Times:

I opened the link and read the article. I wondered if what happened in that Washington church had caused President Trump yesterday to extend from Easter to the end of April, reopening America?

I wondered what might be said by God to that choir director and his minister in the afterlife? Would God ask them why they went ahead with the choir rehearsal knowing the coronavirus was loose in America? Would they answer, President Trump had told us there wasn't much to the virus? We trusted You to protect us? 

I thought back to when I spent a good bit of time in D's area of north Georgia, and D introduced me to L, a minister of a local church, where I began attending Sunday school and morning services. L and I became friends. He was very concerned D did not attend church, the devil would surely get him. I said D met with God away from church. L did not seem to understand. I told D about that, and he thanked me for what I had told L. 

That conversation with L  happened a number of times. I finally told L that I didn't know when I was ever not in church. God was everywhere. Everything I did affected my relationship with God. Church was not necessary, but could be helpful. L still did not seem to understand me. Those conversations continued until finally I asked L, if the devil wanted to hide where nobody would ever think to look, where would that be? L said he did not know where that would be. I told D about that and he thanked me.

I wondered if that was the meaning of my dream this morning? D and I are married in the sense that neither of us believe it is necessary to attend church to meet with God. 

I thought again about President Trump saying Americans will pack churches on Easter Sunday. I had read and heard of churches switching to online services, and of other churches having regular services.

I thought of a black Alabama minister friend, who really does not like and cannot be swayed President Trump, who said he trusts God, the time of his birth and death are fixed, and if he catches the coronavirus and it kills him, then that's how it's supposed to be. I said, God helps those who helps themselves. He asked me where that is said in the Bible? I said in many places where people did something dumb or reckless and it turned out poorly for them. I later thought I should have said not to tempt God.

I thought about cruise ships at sea being denied permission to dock, because they carry passengers infected with the coronavirus. I wondered why those cruise ships had continued operating after a cruise ship headed for San Diego was discovered to be carrying passengers infected with the coronavirus and that ship was interdicted by the U.S. Government? I wondered why the passengers on the now stranded at sea cruise ships got onto those ships knowing of the pandemic and what had happened to the San Diego-bound cruise ship?

I wondered if Americans will temp God and pack churches on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, because they know that's what President Trump expects or they believe God demands it? 

I wondered if the FDA approving two untested (for coronavirus treatment) antimalarial drugs yesterday will encourage Americans to pack churches on Easter Sunday, and generally? 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday issued an emergency-use authorization for a pair of anti-malaria drugs as health officials work to combat the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement that the authorization would allow 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and 1 million doses of chloroquine phosphate to be donated to the Strategic National Stockpile. The doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate were donated by Sandoz, while the chloroquine phosphate was developed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. 
The products will be "distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible," HHS said. 
President Trump has repeatedly touted the anti-malaria drugs as a possible coronavirus "game changer," despite warnings from health officials that not enough is known about their effects on COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said during a press briefing earlier this month that much of what is known about the drug is based on "anecdotal reports."
While I truly hope those anti-malarial drugs will be effective against the coronavirus, I just as truly hope Americans and their ministers will consider the Washington church's experience and not tempt God by packing churches on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, nor any other day during this unprecedented pandemic. Those, or any effective drugs, should be used to treat infected people, not encourage well people to risk becoming infected.

No comments: