A Condition More Contagious & Deadly Than Any Other
By Kara Ranck
As I gaze outside my door, I witness spring going about its annual rituals. A glance outside, tells me all is well with the world as birds fly, flowers grow, grass greens, and the glorious sun shines upon it all. Yet, a glance at my calendar tells me our rituals and routines are anything but normal. Unlike my open house door, the church doors, school doors, store doors, restaurant doors, entertainment doors, and other people’s house doors remain closed. And for good reason. There is a virus spreading, infecting, weakening, and sometimes taking lives. Even if the virus doesn’t take up residence in us, it still touches our lives psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. We are all affected.
Though I am not a true introvert or extrovert, I fall out of balance if my scale tips to the extreme of always at home or always away. I like to maintain a routine somewhere in between—a little at home mixed with a little time away. Right now my scale is out of balance, and I’m guessing yours is too. But being at home has made me come to realize that many times going away is a tactic I use to distract myself. As my good friend said about being at home, “I am constantly bumping up against my own sinfulness and selfishness.” And isn’t she right? Isn’t that the real issue? When I can’t get away, I can’t distract myself from my sin and self. It surrounds me like the four walls of my home and makes me claustrophobic.
At home, I see the symptoms I can usually hide or ignore when I’m in public. I am easily impatient and frustrated with my child when they pile Legos in the doorway for the umpteenth time. Or angry because they messed up my routine—again. Anxious because all my people are yelling for help from me at once. Fearful because my child makes unsafe choices. Angry again because I need to stop what I am doing to discipline for the same thing I’ve given a time-out for three times today.
The thing is when our calendars are full we overlook or stuff down the symptoms of a disease we are all infected with. This pathogen is more prevalent than any other for it infects us all, and its mortality rate is extremely high. And like Covid-19, it affects us even if it doesn’t claim our lives. We all have the “genetic mutation” of sin. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God their creator in the garden, sin entered our bodies and our world (Genesis 2-3). We spread the disease to every offspring from then until the last day. It affects every aspect of our lives and weakens our minds, souls, and bodies. We always carry symptoms of this illness, although we learn to mask them as we mature. This pathogen leads to slow, painful death (Romans 6:23).
But there is hope. Like a vaccine that builds antibodies and protects our bodies from the virus, we gain a defense against sin when Jesus, the sinless son of God, enters our lives. In Mark 2:17, “Jesus told them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’.” He took our sickness upon himself and destroyed the power of the pathogen (Isaiah 53:4-5). Its presence still affects our lives, but it no longer has power over us. In the moments where sin’s symptoms are unmasked, we can turn to our Rescuer and claim his word which is living and active to fight against that persistent disease (Hebrews 4:12). Over time, our healing takes place. Slowly but ever so surely. And one day, our body will be free from the virus and the harm it’s caused forever (Revelation 21:1-5)!
Friend, this long stay at home will reveal the symptoms of sin we’ve been hiding. When it does, run to the one with the cure. Ignoring our symptoms will lead to death. Take hold of the hope in front of you.