10.6.2020 – if prophet told you

if prophet told you
do some great thing, you would have –
how much rather then

It is often little things.

When Doctors like Walter Reed and William Gorgas entered the fight against yellow fever they had a tough time convincing others that the enemy was the mosquito and pools of standing water where mosquitos could lay eggs.

Dr. Reed walked into one yellow fever ward in a hospital in Cuba and was stunned to find the screen less windows open to let in the fresh healing air along with mosquitos.

Dr. Reed also saw that each of the four legs of each hospital bed was standing in a small bowl of water to keep ants from climbing up into the beds.

It is often little things.

I remember an essay on world health where the author, PJ O’Rouke or Bill Bryson, I can’t remember which, interviewed an official with the World Health Organization and asked what might make the biggest impact on world health in general and what would it cost?

The official open a desk drawer and took out some small packets, the size of the extra seasoning packets at Papa John’s Pizza and tossed them over.

The salts in those packets kill the bacteria that caused chronic diarrhea and cholera.

The official told the author that for pennies, these packets could be shipped around the world to places where the water supplies were bad and chronic diarrhea could be stopped.

But, said the official, name a celebrity that will wear a ‘brown ribbon’ to stop global diarrhea.*

It is often little things.

In the Bible, in the book of 2 Kings, (2nd Kings, BTW, not TWO KINGS), Chapter 5, a man named Naaman, a commander of the army of Syria, comes down with leprosy

Desperate for a cure Naaman is ready to try anything.

In Naaman’s household was a slave girl, captured from Israel, who told Naaman’s wife that back home was a prophet of God who could help.

Naaman sent off letters and was directed to the prophet Elisha.

As a quick aside Elisha was a student of the prophet Elijah.

Elijah and Elisha.

Elisha is spelled with the letter S.

Elisha was second.

Naaman goes off to see the great prophet.

Naaman is met by a servant sent by a Elisha with a message.

The message is, Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.

Naaman just blows up and loses it.

This is the great advice from the great prophet from the great God of Israel?

Take a bath?

Take a bath 7 times?

Take a bath 7 times and he will be cured?


The Bible records that Naaman “turned and went off in a rage.”

But another more thoughtful servant (how many times in literature are folks rescued by a ‘more thoughtful’ servant) ran after Naaman and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”

And what happens?

I am happy to tell you Mr. Naaman went and bathed in that river.

Mr. Naaman went and bathed in the river not once, but seven times.

And the Bible says, ” his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.”

It is often little things.

Not some GREAT THING, but the little things.

In another book in my mind the feller asks God to be forgiven.

To be forgiven, not for his sin.

To be forgiven for his lack of faith.

It is often little things.

*According to the CDC Website:

Diarrhea kills 2,195 children every day—more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined.

Diarrheal diseases account for 1 in 9 child deaths worldwide, making diarrhea the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5. For children with HIV, diarrhea is even more deadly; the death rate for these children is 11 times higher than the rate for children without HIV 2. Despite these sobering statistics, strides made over the last 20 years have shown that, in addition to rotavirus vaccination and breastfeeding, diarrhea prevention focused on safe water and improved hygiene and sanitation is not only possible, but cost effective: every $1 invested yields an average return of $25.50 

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