A Tenuous Thread, Plucked

Here’s what I know or have heard about the Ebola virus. It causes terrible sickness, does not produce symptoms for up to three weeks after infection, and if one dies, it can be an exceedingly brutal way to exit this life. Eyeballs bleed; internal organs liquefy. The disease most recently flared up in west Africa, and due to poor containment protocol in that impoverished area, has since spread to various parts around the globe. This outbreak has already exceeded all past Ebola outbreaks combined in numbers of infection.

Fear is growing that a pandemic is in the works.

(It is possible that the man sitting next to me on my commuter train has an uncle whose next door neighbor’s aunt’s best friend’s co-worker got off a plane from New York just last week. While in New York, he rode in a taxi driven by a Liberian national, here on a fake visa, whose dear brother – infected brother – had just visited the Big Apple from their home country. Now all of these individuals are unknowingly infected, unknowingly mind you, and as I read my paper on the train, the man sitting next to me happens to sneeze. A tiny smudge of particulate loaded with Ebola virus lands in a minuscule glob on the back of my hand, unnoticed. He says, “Excuse me,” as I simultaneously say, “Bless you.” We exchange a friendly nod. I am happily ensconced in the everyday social interchange trumpeted as healthy by most psychologists.

Seconds later, my nose itches, so I scratch it. Voila, said viral matter enters into John Wilson Bach. 21 days of symptom-free living follow, during which time I unknowingly infect hundreds of others. By Labor Day, I am admitted to the hospital in Helena, Montana, where I just played pretty darn well in the 18th Annual Pride and Progress Golf Tournament. My eyes are bleeding, my fever is spiked, and I am about to exit this life for my meeting with the Creator of the Universe.

Now this scenario is unlikely, granted. Especially since I don’t ride a commuter train and I don’t play golf in Labor Day tournaments, nor do I ever visit Helena, Montana, which surely should be on my bucket list. Point is, whatever bucket list I might have could be violently truncated by this microscopic organism known as Ebola).

Back to what I know or have heard. Over 50% of those individuals infected with this virus die. There are no immunizations or effective treatments for the disease. Modern global travel by hip people of all diverse races, religions, creeds, sexual orientations, and genders could indeed lead to a pandemic.

Now, regardless of the veracity of my knowledge, three possibilities present themselves…

1. Should a pandemic ensue, millions upon millions could die painfully horrible deaths. All that they have, all that they know to be pleasurable and all that they selfishly love, all of it could be negotiable in their screams or silent prayers for rescue. Anything to relieve the misery. Healthcare workers, intent upon helping or at least relieving the suffering, would fall ill and die as well. I’m thankful for Obamacare which is surely driving more youngsters into the medical field, probably in droves. Anyway, it is reported that upon death the peak of contagionability (made that word up) is reached. Therefore, those yucky people who embalm and cremate dead bodies are in danger as well.

Speaking of this- as an aside – what makes a young man or woman look around at all the available career pursuits and choose the funeral field? Hmmmm, I could be an accountant, a race car driver, a postman – sorry, progressives, post person – or… hmmmm…. I got it! I’m gonna be a mortician. I’m gonna work with dead people all day. As an aside to my aside, Is it oxymoronic to make a “living” in the funeral field? This is all akin, in my mind, to a young med student looking through the courses of future study and possible specialties and… Yes! Proctologist! That’s what I want! No heart surgery or setting broken bones for me… no, I’m gonna spend my days looking up rears! I think the correct term might actually be ani – think “octopi” – but since I am unsure, I defaulted to the familiar “rears.”

Man, my Adderall must be wearing off. I am WAY off track.

So, to conclude #1…. millions die. Millions, at least.

2. Part A. I am misinformed and Ebola isn’t that bad. More like a harsh case of the flu. It spreads, but not that many die, and by the World Series, most have forgotten about it. Then the midterm elections come around, thousands upon thousands of dead Democrats miraculously vote – we can’t have voter id laws, of course – and talk of 2016 begins in earnest. The whole bleeding from the eyes was just an ugly rumor started by a disenchanted nurse interviewed by a rookie news guy in an ill-fitting suit. The story was initially cut by his wise editor, but then the reporter’s unemployed brother-in-law blogged about it, it was picked up by a local rag, and before long trumpeted as truth over the cyber sphere.

2. Part B. I am not misinformed, Ebola is turrrrrible, but zillions of really smart people figure out a way to contain it so only people in third world countries bleed from the eyes and die. That way, those of us in the States and in cool Western European countries can pretend that all is well with the world and drink our expensive coffees and continue to care about meaningless things. As long as we can get the good deals on Black Friday, all is well with the world. Turn that TV off, Junior, I don’t want to see dead bodies piled up in the streets of Monrovia. I’m eating. Honey, this is really good lasagna. What time are the Harveys coming over Saturday?

3. This whole “event,” pre-packaged as a societal black swan event, is really just one big old false flag, dreamed up by the liberal media to take attention away from our shredded borders and Obama’s pitiful approval numbers. It’s so easy to rile up Teabagger party members, to borrow a term they use. It’s also easy for the simple-minded to fall for a woman candidate with zero credibility (the Lizard Queen, Hillary), or with zero experience (the punchy, fake squaw grandmother, Elizabeth). One of them can surely lead America to liberal greatness. Now, there’s an oxymoron if there ever was one…. liberal greatness.

Whatever happens, 1, 2, or 3, we should be reminded that life is fragile. Durable individually, yet fragile collectively.

I have no idea what that means. Let me try again.

We, as a people group… no…. let’s see…. okay…. People tend to think that the now is king. The past is queen. The future is… royalty yet unnamed.

Man, I’m struggling. Come on, Adderall… work!

Here. Life is short. Some may live to be over a hundred; some may be ripped out of mama’s tummy before it even really gets going. Most are in between. However long you live, however long I live, we each will die. I might just catch that virus and bleed from my eyes and pass away in agony. You might live long and healthy and finally slip away in your sleep on a downy bed. We might both die, looking at each other in a head on crash. (Unless you’re in a Smart car, and I don’t even notice the collision).

You might have just died of boredom reading this. Goodness knows I’m sick of the subject. Regardless, know this. The silver cord will sever. You will go into eternity. What will you say then?

There is the story of a rich man who was about to die.  Brokenhearted at having to leave his riches behind, he formulated a plan. He died one night, but somehow managed to sneak a briefcase full of gold into the hereafter. Upon meeting Peter at the pearly gates, he was asked about the briefcase.

Peter: You can’t bring that in here.

Rich Man: Come on, it’s just a briefcase. Please?

Peter: No.

Rich Man: Please?

Peter: Let me see what’s in it first.

(Peter opens the case. The man looks around in arrogance, the line of the recently departed stretching behind him, each individual carrying nothing. The man is proud of his cunning).

Peter: You brought pavement?

How proud we are. How tenuous is the thread that binds you to this mortal coil.

Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus and be saved.


Luke 12:20 “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’”

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