Maureen Pratt Author PicIt seemed so far away. Until now. As I type this, a second person in Dallas has been diagnosed with ebola, and more are being monitored.  People are talking about it on the news and elsewhere, and asking the question, “How bad can this get?” And those of us with chronic illness, and especially those who are immuno-compromised, are probably paying even closer attention to reports and, yes, even rumors. Some, maybe many, are beginning to feel uneasy at the thought of an incurable, usually fatal, horrible illness spiralling through the United States and elsewhere. Others might be scared already.

I’m in the second month of taking a very powerful immunosuppressive drug to combat the autoimmune processes caused by lupus and my other serious illnesses. I know that, as this medication builds up in my system, I will be less able to fight off germs, and so will have to take more and more precautions. In fact, I’ve already begun to take them, to fold them into my life and become more at ease about control I can take to try to stay infection free.  “Crunch time,” that is, cold and flu season, will soon be here, and I hope by then to be fluent in taking protective measures as much as I can and, then, relying on faith to help me manage any uneasieness about the “what if.”

As the news of ebola has become louder and closer to home, I’m reminded about how fragile life is, how much medical science has yet to learn, and how, with travel as easy and rapid as it is today, things far away can arrive closer to home. But I’m also reminded about how courageous so many people are – healthcare workers, family members and friends, and others rendering aid. I’m hopeful that the right measures will be taken to protect them and others as much as possible. And I’m confident that the human spirit can rise to this, as with any, challenge.

In that spirit, I’m lifting up in prayer all those who are trying to unravel this puzzle of the ebola virus, and the other viruses that are hitting people far and near (such as the entero virus). I’m also praying that those who fear will be comforted and those who mourn will be met with compassion.  I’m also trying to stay informed and measured, keeping my doctor-prescribed course as usual.

And if I come across someone who is trying to stir up sensational fear, or trying to point to all humanity as being punished for their sinfulness by being struck with ebola, I point to heaven, and our heavenly Father who loves us and is there for us with strength, light, and other abundant blessings.

Yes, our loving Father – our all in all, through it all!

Joy and peace,


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