We walk a journey in a darkened world. And many times we do not see how each step leads us to a place we could not have foreseen.
The lesson? When darkness comes, keep moving forward.
They were there to make a difference–working in the name of God–to honor Jesus, to carry the Gospel to a dark land.
Then more darkness descended when the epidemic took hold of Liberia in 2014.
It strikes fear in those who understand what it does.
It is contagious through mere touch.
And Liberia is a culture imbued with touch.
So the disease spread quickly.
For medical workers, their path seemed to shift straight uphill.
Yet the world seemed to yawn.
Medical care wasn’t top of the line in Liberia. An epidemic pounded a society whose care came primarily through missionary doctors.
Doctors like Kent Brantly, whose story is depicted in the film Facing Darkness. Brantly works with Samaritan’s Purse–the outreach ministry of Franklin Graham.
Brantly stayed behind as his wife and children traveled to the US for a family wedding.
He kept working.
Then he too became sick.
And the path the workers walked shifted once more. Graham says he saw a darkness descend. He speaks of it literally.
In the dark, it’s hard to see a leading hand. So we walk our path in prayer and in faith.
“Faith isn’t something that keeps you safe,” Brantly says.
But it is something that can change the way those involved and, even the rest of the world, see a situation.
A plane was coming for Brantly–a special plane to keep him and the Ebola virus isolated–a plane to bring him back to modern medical care.
But the plane got delayed.
Because of the delay, Brantly was able to receive a dose of an experimental medicine–a medicine that had never before been given to a human being.
It’s the kind of step clinicians take when there is no other way to turn–when death is imminent and calls for an act of desperation.
When Brantly arrived in the US, he was able to walk into the hospital of his own accord. Had the plane not been delayed, he may not have survived the flight.
And every evening newscast showed his arrival–his steps from the ambulance to the hospital doors.
The world saw and responded.
The sick people of Liberia had been nameless to us. Brantly had a name. He showed us the face of this illness.
Because they had departed for the wedding, Brantly’s family did not get sick.
They walked a path to protection without knowing it.
A poet says that fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Kent Brantly and his co-workers have been such fools.
They remind me of the Christians of the early Church–the people who helped those suffering from the Plague–people who served and who got sick too and died because there was no modern medicine to rescue anyone.
Life’s paths take us to strange places. And only by looking back once we’ve moved through a dark place can we see the hand who guided Brantly through his illness to a place from where help would come to Liberia.
Our life’s path may wind and turn where we know not. Keep walking. And trust the one who guides His own out of the darkness and into new light.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
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