By Pastor Ron Buxton
Well, it’s that time again. The CDC is already cautioning folks to get their vaccinations in anticipation of another flu season. For many, it is the dreaded sore shoulder for a few days following that injection. For others, it means better hygiene standards to avoid the sicknesses that are more prevalent this time of year. Certainly, it reminds us of the invisible–but oftentimes deadly—viruses that exist in our world.
Transmittable diseases, while very contagious, can be averted by something as practical as covering your mouth when you cough. And that’s where I’m going in this article today. You see, some diseases can be stopped by simply covering your mouth. This is mostly true concerning coughs that plague folks during the cold and flu season, but also in regards to what goes in and out of your oral cavity.
To protect against diseases should be part of our public conversation for the sake of others. After all, we are our “brother’s keeper”, and anything that we can do to protect each other should be part of that on-going conversation. What I am about to share falls under that same category.
It’s now been 18 years–but what I experienced in Guatemala–I would not wish upon my worst enemy. Having spent half a decade in Central America as a missionary, I felt like I was entirely acclimated to that region. How wrong I was. The culprit was Hepatitis A, a food-borne illness, that almost killed me. Quickly, I became jaundiced and experienced heavy bouts of nausea and fever. Frankly, I thought that it was Malaria since there are so many disease-carrying mosquitoes there. But no. It was Hepatitis A, and some of my bodily functions confirmed that. To make matters worse, I was also removed geographically from the kind of medical attention that we take for granted in our country.
Allow me to gross you out for a moment. Hepatitis A arrives as a fecal-oral transmission to its victims. Somebody didn’t wash their hands after using the restroom. Probably one of the street vendors that I often purchased food from. I was definitely “hurtin’ for certain”–and really thought that I was going to die. Seriously.
Think about this. Gossip is a similar disease—but its transmission is reversed from what I experienced with Hepatitis A. With gossip–it is what comes out of your mouth—that is contaminated! And it is actually filthier–in the eyes of God—than that fecal-oral transmission that I dealt with in Guatemala!
You might want to cover your mouth! What comes out of it might just kill somebody! And while you’re at it—wash more than your hands! You see, for our mouths to get decontaminated requires a purified heart, and that requires a supernatural encounter with God! Schedule that appointment! Christ is waiting to perform that necessary procedure. If you don’t, there is probably disease coming out of your oral cavity! For the sake of public safety—get that procedure done today!