Perspectives From Another Side
In 2020, as we all know, a global pandemic broke out, a health crisis that resulted in part because of not knowing how to attack the disease. As the war against COVID – the coronavirus – began, another serious war also started: the war of information, ranging from debates over the origins, effects, and treatment protocols for this unprecedented crisis. This was particularly problematic for healthcare professionals like me and those I worked with, as we sought to provide the best possible care in an atmosphere of widespread confusion.
As the pandemic progressed, it became evident that humanity was divided into large groups: the sick; the medical workers; the politicians; and those who regularly use – and abuse – the social networks. Those who were sick were afflicted by a contagion that moved with impressive speed. Doctors and nurses were fighting an enemy they had never encountered before. The politicians all claimed they were trying to control the situation, but it became apparent that many were exploiting the crisis for their own benefit. Social networks spread a lot of real information, accompanied by an abundance of false, inaccurate, and often alarmist disinformation.
From a frontline medical perspective, I along with my wife and daughter, saw the pandemic at its very worst. Many people did not take care of themselves. Others chose to ignore well-considered care measures. This behavior was disappointing, making our job to treat the sick even more difficult.
The rapid advance of the COVID pandemic has slowed, and we all hope its worst is over. But during this time, I came across another perspective, thinking about the huge number of people who are infected with an even more devastating “pandemic.” The Bible calls is “sin,” and its fatality rate is 100 percent. In the New Testament book of Romans, we see these declarations: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 3:23, 6:23).
As a physician, like my colleagues I strive to provide healing treatment to my patients. However, I realize that despite all my best efforts, they – and all of us – will die one day. This raises the question, “What happens then?” Another verse from the book of Romans explains the “cure” God has provided for all who will accept it: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
I thought about our heavenly Father. He saw how His creation was acting in defiance and rebellion against His “prescriptions” for successful, fruitful living. In His Son, Jesus Christ, God sent the means to save them, but people still had to determine whether to accept this Cure. Many people insist on doing what they want, not thinking about or ignoring the eternal consequences they will inevitably face.
If we are followers of Jesus Christ, we are God’s spiritual health personnel. We must work to bring the promise of His salvation by making disciples (see Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8). Along with helping people to receive Christ and His provision for spiritual death, it is also our duty is to disciple them, so that in due time they will “bear much fruit – fruit that will last” for eternity (John 15:16). As mentors, disciplers or teachers, we can do our part to fight the spiritual pandemic that no one can escape.
Luis Cervino is a maxillofacial surgeon in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico, where he resides with his wife, Rocio, and their two sons. He has been a CBMC/CPEC member in Mexico since 1997 and has been translating Monday Manna from English into Spanish since 1999. His translations reach readers in Spanish all over Latin America.