As the flu season has ravaged its way across the United States, I’ve noticed a pattern. People become “infected” with the flu, and it starts small–maybe a headache or sniffly nose. Gradually it becomes worse, but they continue on with their normal routines until all at once, they are completely taken down by the flu and remain so for around two weeks. Slowly they make their way back into society, but other people catch the germs from them and then the cycle starts all over again.
From this, I noticed a loose parallel to our spiritual lives (except of course it’s a positive thing and not negative like the flu). We hear about God–maybe from a Sunday School lesson or from a TV preacher, or kindness shown to us from a random person–and a little of that takes root in our hearts. We become “infected” (but in a good way) with the love of God, even if we don’t feel symptoms of it yet. Over time, more and more exposure to God’s love finds its way into our hearts, and slowly, we begin to see His fingerprints on our day. Then all at once it hits us that God loves us so much He sacrificed a part of Himself to die for us while we still hated Him. That revelation of His love completely takes us under, to the point that we cannot continue to go on as we were in our routines and in society. When we get around people, God’s love spills out of us onto them–it’s contagious. They may not even know that they’ve caught a little bit of it, but slowly, patiently, God reveals Himself to them and the cycle continues.
May the love of God become an epidemic that spreads so far and so quickly, touching so many people so effectively that they are not the same. May we be contagious carriers of our faith to our community. (And may all those with the flu be healed!)