We are in the middle of an unfolding nightmare. But this morning I thought of something positive, with all the negative news. Here it is: I don’t have to bite into another Tic Tac. I don’t have to sneak one into my mouth when I’m planning to speak to someone up close and personal. Everyone to whom I now speak is at least 6 feet away, and if they can smell my breath from there, a Tic Tac isn’t going to help even slightly. Even though I don’t like peppermint, I always used them when witnessing, especially in the closeness of a plane. I remember speaking to one gentleman whose breath was so bad I kept showing him the breath-taking view. That didn’t help. I wanted to pull down the oxygen mask whenever he exhaled. It was a real test of my love. But love found a way. I gently rubbed my nose as though it was bruised (it was in pain), as I spoke to him, and that seemed to help. A little.
That experience gave me extra empathy for dentists, whose sad job is to look down sorry human drainpipes all day.
Another good thing about this present distress, is a special appreciation for food and for certain other essentials. I’ve always been thankful for these, but that appreciation has recently grown much deeper.
I was at Walmart, and excitedly sent Sue a text because they had allowed me to have two rolls of toilet paper. Most of the shelves were bare as a baby’s bottle. It looked like a tornado had run through the store. And as I waited to be served, I heard the checkout man ask, “Did you find everything you need?” That made me burst out laughing, and he then did the same. I said, “Are they still making you ask that?” You should be asking, “Did you find anything at all?”
I returned home with soup in cans that were so bent, nobody wanted them. They probably expired ten years ago.
I’m also grateful that our chickens are laying eggs. When I see half a dozen of those precious little gifts nestled in the straw, I say, “Thank you ladies, and thank you Lord.”
I’m even grateful for toothpaste. Squeezing the last portions of paste for three years is no longer just a challenge to see how long it will last. I make it last because it could be the last piece of paste I get to squeeze.
My gratitude to God is deep and wide, not just because of the Tic Tac’s, toothpaste, or the laying ladies, but because this terrible situation is making people think about their mortality. Even more people are going to our Facebook page and our YouTube channel.
Every now and then, I have to explain why we springboard off celebrities into the gospel. Some dear distraught folks think we are endorsing their sinful lifestyle, just because they make a shallow remark about faith or God. They tell us that we lack discernment or that we should do due diligence before endorsing these sinful people.
Our channel is modeled on the example of the Apostle Paul, who quoted sinful Greek poets, when he preached the gospel in Athens (see Acts 17:28). He wasn’t endorsing their godless lifestyles, but was using them as a springboard for his message. That’s what we do.
I tell these upset people to rejoice with us, that millions are coming under the sound of the gospel, because of this biblical principle.
Speaking of comments on our YouTube channel. I posted a video of some celebrities who were singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” I couldn’t believe some of the heartless comments that were left—about them being idiots, and saying that they deserved to go to Hell.
I suspect that some of those leaving such caustic comments were nasty atheist trolls. They hang around our channel like mosquitoes at a picnic, trying to get in their poison. I (s)pray over them. No matter how sweet and nice a clip may be, they always give it a “thumbs down.” Which is a wonderful blessing. Thumbs down is my barometer for unbelievers that come to our channel.
When I saw those sad singing celebrities, I looked into their eyes. There was no “celebrity” in there—just ordinary people gripped by fear. I saw poor godless lost human beings, who had built their houses on sand as the storm raged, and it broke my heart. There is no denying that these are frightening times for the ungodly. They don’t have the safety-net of Romans 8:28. All things are working for the bad of those who don’t love God, and are not called according to His purposes. They have chosen not to have faith and have defaulted to fear.
May God forever remove our cold hearts, and may we react more like Jesus—who reached out in love, even to those who took pleasure in seeing His bloodied body writhe in unimaginable agony on the cross.
One last thing. Not being able to approach strangers is a handicap for those of us who are used to giving out tracts. But don’t be discouraged. Remember our YouTube channel. It’s just passed 110,000,000 views. Keep sharing it. Make it go viral and outrun this terrible plague.