The day is over and you’re driving home. You turn on your radio. You hear a little blurb about a little village in India where some villagers have died suddenly from a strange virus that has never been seen before. It’s not influenza, but three or four people are dead. They’re sending some doctors to India to investigate.
You don’t think much about it, but while you’re coming home from church on Sunday you hear another news spot on the radio. Only now, it’s not three villagers—it’s 30,000 in the back hills of this particular area of India. You see it on TV that night, and they’re reporting that experts are heading there from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.
By Monday morning when you get up, it’s the lead story. Because now it’s not just India—it’s Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, and before you know it, you’re hearing this story everywhere. They’re simply referring to it now as the “Mystery Virus.” The President has held a press conference and expressed that he and all Americans are praying and hoping that all will go well in that part of the world. But everyone is wondering, “How are we going to contain it?”
That’s when the President of France makes an announcement that shocks Europe—he is closing their borders. There will be no flights from India, Pakistan, or any of the countries where the virus has been. That night, you’re watching the news before going to bed. Your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman from France exclaims, “There’s a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the Mystery Flu.” It has come to Europe. Panic strikes. As best they can tell, once you get it, you have it for a week and you don’t know it. Then you have four days of unbelievably brutal symptoms—then you die.
Britain closes its borders, but it’s too late. South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton are reporting numerous cases. On Tuesday morning, the President of the United States makes the following announcement: “Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled.” He says, “If your loved ones are overseas, I’m sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this disease.”
Within four days our nation has been plunged into unbelievable fear. People are selling masks to cover your face. People are talking about what if it comes to this country, and many preachers on Tuesday are saying, “It’s the judgment of God.”
On Wednesday night you’re at a special prayer meeting being held at your church to pray for the crisis when somebody runs in from the parking lot and says, “Turn on a radio, turn on a radio!” While the church listens, the announcement is made, “Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the Mystery Virus.” Within hours it’s sweeping across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote—but nothing is working. Cases are being reported in California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and Massachusetts.
Then, on Friday afternoon, there is breaking news. The code has been broken! A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It’s going to take the blood of somebody with a very rare blood type—who hasn’t been infected. Through all channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone is being asked to do one simple thing: “Go to your local hospital and have your blood tested. That’s all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, orderly, and safely to the hospitals.”
When you and your family get to the hospital late on that Friday night, there’s a long line, and they’ve got nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. The officials are saying, “Please wait here in the parking lot until we’ve received your test results. We will then dismiss you and you may return to your homes.” You anxiously stand waiting with your family and neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on, and thinking this must certainly be the end of the world. Suddenly, a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He’s yelling a name and waving an iPad. Your seven year old son then tugs on your jacket and says, “Daddy, that’s me.”
Before you know it, they’ve grabbed your boy. “Wait a minute, hold it!” And they say, “It’s okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. He doesn’t have the disease. We just want to confirm that he has the right type.” Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging one another—some are even laughing. It’s the first time you’ve seen anybody laugh in a week. And just then, an old doctor walks up to you and says, “Thank you, sir. Your son’s blood type is perfect. It’s clean, it’s pure, and we can make the vaccine.” As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming… praying… laughing and crying.
But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, “May we see you for a moment? We didn’t realize that the donor would be a minor and we need you to sign a consent form.” You’re just about to sign when you notice that the line identifying the number of pints of blood to be taken is blank. “H-h-h-how many pints?” you ask. And that’s when the old doctor’s smile fades. He looks down and sheepishly mumbles, “We had no idea it would be a little child. We weren’t prepared for that. We’re going to need… um… we’re going to need it all.” You shake your head in disbelief, “But—but…” The doctor grabs your hands and looks into your eyes, pleading—”You don’t understand. We’re talking about the whole world here! Please sign. For the sake of the human race!” “But can’t you just give him a transfusion?” “If we had clean blood that was his type—we would. Can you sign? Would you sign?” In numb silence—you sign. They then say, “Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?”
Could you walk back? Could you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, “Daddy! Mommy! What’s going on?” Could you take his hands and say, “Son, your mommy and I love you, and we’d never, ever let anything happen to you that didn’t just have to be. Do you understand that?” And when that old doctor comes back in and says, “I’m sorry, we’ve—we’ve got to get started. People all over the world are dying.” Could you leave? Could you walk out of that room while he’s screaming, “Daddy! Mommy! Why? Why have you forsaken me?”
And then the next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, you look around to find that many are sleeping through it. Some don’t even attend because they go to the lake—while others come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care. Wouldn’t you want to jump up and say, “WAIT! MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON’T YOU CARE?”
Makes you wonder if that isn’t what God wants to say… “WAIT! MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON’T YOU CARE?”