Pastor Kerry read from a children’s story this morning, in Zoom Church, and the subject was regarding a youngster who’s mom made a lot of split pea soup. The boy did not like the soup and finally could tolerate, no more! I related to the story, as my mother loved to prepare split pea soup. She assured me that it was healthy, whatever that means, and that it was good for me. I found it nauseating! I choked some down, while she was watching…and then found creative ways to dispose of the remainder that was in my bowl. Often, the split peas had cooked into a green mush… I reflected on why things that were good for me…were so awful…and at times distasteful? There were many forms of cuisine, in the 1960’s, that were of a questionable nature…as far as my palate could discern. We had liver and onions, every week, because the stringy meat had the reputation of building iron in your blood. My blood seemed strong enough to me. I enjoyed the onions…but the liver I chewed and chewed…and it still, was there! Then there was, egg nog, made with a raw egg…each morning. I poured this horrible substance out of the back door…when mom left the kitchen. Once again I was assured that the egg nog was good for me. Some glasses of the yellow substance, at times with nutmeg on top, made their way into my young system…while others nourished the grass… Mom was a wonderful cook. On Tuesday evenings we had spaghetti, which I prepared, since it was laundry day. I loved spaghetti, and I still do. On Friday night, which was grocery day, we had Totino’s Pizza. Tuesday and Friday helped lessen the shock of; split pea soup and liver and onions. I learned that some things that are supposed to be good for us…do not taste good.
Today, our medical authorities are telling us to do some pretty non-typical things to protect ourselves from our 2020 pandemic. Social distancing is contrary to our social nature. Wearing masks in businesses and supermarkets and banks…seems onerous and cumbersome. Yet the resulting benefits…namely the saving of our lives…and the lives of others…causes me to embrace the procedures and processes.
‘The first strain of the Spanish flu wasn’t particularly deadly. Then it came back with a vengeance.’ History
‘The horrific scale of the 1918 influenza pandemic – known as the Spanish flu – is hard to fathom. The virus infected 500 million people worldwide and killed an estimated 20 – 50 million victims – that’s more than all of the soldiers and civilians killed during World War I combined.’ History
‘While the global pandemic lasted for two years, a significant number of deaths were packed into three especially cruel months in the fall of 1918. Historians now believe that the fatal severity of the Spanish flu’s second wave was caused by a mutated virus spread by wartime troop movements.’ History
We are living in the midst of a pandemic. It is humbling. I was listening to the BBC this afternoon as the mental health aspects of the fear of the Coronavirus and the preventive measure of stay at home orders, surround our planet. In Illinois we are rapidly approaching the two month mark for social distancing restrictions. This is difficult medicine for we humans. Especially if you live alone. We all have fears. Of late they have been placed under a massive magnifying glass! As is everything with life…one pressing problem does not give way in order to facilitate the entrance of a bigger concern. No, we have to deal, mentally and emotionally, with each of the issues that come down the train tracks…even when we are…running along the train Trestle seeking a place to jump off on to the safe side of the tracks…
So, we brothers and sisters are blessed to live in a time of the internet and Zoom…and FaceTime. We are not nearly as alone as our ancestors during the Spanish flu. I am encouraged, as I have written on several occasions, to attend our First Presbyterian church service, via Zoom. Each Sunday when I see the smiling faces of my fellow congregants…I know that our little family is not going through this alone…and that we have a computer screen…full of friends!
Over my 62 and 1/2 years I have read and studied and enjoyed the demonstrated fact that we seek learning. We seek education. We thirst for knowledge. However, along with our genetical need to understand, and our respect for science…we are, sadly, a warlike people. We fight over oil. We kill and ask our young to kill in the name of politicians…who have ulterior motives. We want more…which means that our neighbors…have less. Perhaps we can emerge from our universal experience of battling our 2020 pandemic… with the understanding that we need each other…that we are all one people…that we all fear the darkness…and that we are all traveling toward the light!
‘And he shall judge among the nations,and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.’ Isaiah 2:4 KJV