This week has had its challenges. The little things can really make a good week go south, and several at once can challenge your Christianity. Returning home early from a gospel meeting in Jackson, Tennessee, I found sugar ants in the kitchen that just showed up out of nowhere, following my bread starter from room to room even if I utterly and completely cleaned that jar in between moves. Wasps are suddenly everywhere in the bathroom. Come to find out, a tree limb has fallen on the roof, piercing it asunder and the attic above the bathroom is wet and a habitat for wasps and dirt daubers and now they can come right through the ceiling which is also now pierced. It was the bathroom beside the baby’s crib and the baby and his mother were already settled in for the night.
I came home early, arriving here on Sunday night about 12:30 am, because I was pretty sick. You’ve been this kind of sick…you know, where you can’t speak above a whisper, but your cough is deafening and unrelenting. My daughter Hannah and Baby Ezra left me on Monday afternoon and I gargled and sipped and oiled and rubbed and just kept right on coughing that rib-splitting, sleep-stealing cough. Because I am speaking Saturday, I, at last, gave in and went to the doctor yesterday. She was very thorough. Three shots in the bottom, antibiotics and prescription cough syrup, antihistamines, more gargling and sipping and strict orders for bed rest till it’s time to leave for Georgia. She even demanded that I have a driver for this trip and that I drink hot tea all the way there and even while up speaking. That’s the kind of week.
The computer that had all of my data on it, including all the stuff I need for this weekend, officially died this week. Fifteen huh-huh-hundred dollars was the final bill for that bottle of accidentally and partially frozen flavored water that spewed out in that hotel room last week, and I am still just hoping optimistically that I retrieve the data in time for this weekend. Of course, all of that data retrieval doesn’t happen while you’re in bed, for sure. It happens with multiple trips to the repair shop and the Apple store.
Then my husband came home last night. He, too arrived about 12:30 am. That was kind of good, because he was so sleepy that he was sleeping right through those long and loud coughing jags. During one of those jags, around 3 am, I got up and stole around loudly for a bit and, just as I was right beside Glenn’s head, something slimy and wet went KUH-runch under my right foot. I could not help it. I screamed like a banshee. It was dark, but I could see something writhing in the floor. My husband just opened his big brown eyes, sat upright and calmly said, “Do not do this when I am older than I am right at this moment. I believe I will have a heart attack.”
Lights came on.
“It’s a frog! I crushed a frog!” I coughed out the words. The frog lost its croak in the 3 am flush, but, alas, I still have mine.
This morning, my husband woke up and said, “I had the strangest dream. You were around here on my side of the bed and you screamed and there was a frog, of all things, right here in the floor.”
I guess I will just let him go on thinking that was a dream. He’s going to have enough reality when he says good morning to the roof and the wasps and the rotten ceiling…and the fifteen huh-huh-hundred dollar water spill.
Okay, so there is one quick spiritual application I’d like to make. Of course, the health issue is the only one here that really matters, in the big scheme of things. All of the other problems are first world problems. We are rich enough to have indoor bathrooms, dismay over sugar ants means we have sweet things to eat, etc…. But the worst thing about this week is that I shared my disease with my daughter, who as a nursing mom can’t take those antibiotics that I am taking, and now, she has shared it with Baby Ezra. Hannah is sick because I was sick. Ezra is sick because Hannah was sick. I should have been more protective, in the first place. I exposed them.
Now, I am sad about that. But I think about sin a lot—the great disease for which there is but one balm; the disease which, without the cure, brings us down for all of eternity. How tragic it is when parents are not protective of their children with regard to sin. Sometimes I witness parents literally exposing their children to the disease. Oh, I know that each adult person is responsible for his or her own sin (Ezekial 18:20), but still, parents can immunize against the disease or they can expose. I know parents who daily turn on the filth of the devil on television for their young children to view. They are exposing. I know moms who lose their tempers and yell at their husbands in front of their children. They are exposing. I know families who go on vacation and fail to worship with the saints while traveling. They are exposing. I know children who have found Dad’s alcohol in the cabinet and tried it. Dad has exposed.
It’s sad to expose our kids to the flu, to strep throat, or even to the common cold. But it is tragic—eternally and irrevocably devastating—to think we would expose our kids to the disease that will take their souls for all of eternity. Oh, the final choice will be theirs, but early exposure at the hands of parents is something almost too painful to contemplate.