Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Letter of the Day | Blizzards, pandemics and God’s power to save

Published:Thursday | February 25, 2021 | 12:15 AM


Many persons calling themselves Christians continue to go to church and meet as a body during the pandemic, claiming God’s power to save, despite statistical proof that churches are super spreaders, and many pastors - and their flocks - have died this way.

Yet, it was no less a person than Jesus, the Son of God and a perfect man, less prone to injury, who refused to put himself in danger, by jumping off the temple battlements, to test God’s ability to save him. He tells Satan: “It is written: You must NOT put Jehovah your God to the test ... “(Luke 4:10-13; Deut 6:16). Decades later, Paul wrote to the Corinthians to refrain from doing this (1 Cor 10:9).

So I got COVID, because someone with whom I lived infected me before we were aware she had it. It was ugly and painful, breathing difficulties, exhaustion, body pain, coughing, sneezing, lack of appetite, etc. And with God’s help and his wisdom, I was able to come through. I can’t overstate the importance of hot baths, with therapeutics salts. Half an hour in the bath allowed me to breathe freely for two hours, hot teas melted the mucous, Benadryl extended my ease of breathing, and the maximum dosage of Advil helped with the pain. But God held my hand through this with many almost night-long soothing conversations when I was too uncomfortable to sleep, and, of course, loved ones encouraged and prayed for me.

Soon as I was coming out of this, the big breeze hit! We lost power on Monday and it returned some time on Friday night, after I had gone to bed. But how could a recently arrived Jamaican survive winter chills that killed and hospitalised persons born and raised here?

Well, God’s blessings and his wisdom and pillows. Strangely, two weeks before the blizzard, I bought two extra pillows. I can’t explain the conviction that I needed to; it was just there and I acted on it. So I discovered when the chill hit that where the pillow was against my body, I was very warm. Lying on my side, sandwiched between two king-sized pillows on either side of me, and at my head, the chill was unable to penetrate that thickness, and with comforter and a blanket thrown over those, I was cocooned in warmth!

The real challenge came in the days! It was so cold, piped water froze and had ice chips in it even when you ran it; being outside of bed caused you to have brain freeze (like when you were a child and ate your ice cream too fast) also; your fingers and toes went painfully numb, even in double socks and gloves!

Well, we had only electric stove, so we couldn’t warm up with hot water, soup or hot beverages, so we had to resort to the heater in the car, and one hot meal per day from fast-food outlets -- where the lines were so long, drive-thru was an hour-long wait! And driving over snow and ice was a painfully slow exercise that kept us out of the cold house for three hours! Yes, one day it took my toes two hours to unfreeze! I made sure that didn’t happen again!

So many things I had in Jamaica would have made a difference! My two-burner emergency gas stove and a cylinder of gas, food thermos, a flashlight (we had candles, and I used my phone, but it’s not the same!).

The emergency canned rations really helped to save me. Canned fish and bread to make sandwiches; juices and canned fruit, though ice-cold, could be put under the pillows/blankets with you overnight to be warmed up, so you didn’t have to eat ice while freezing.

All of those helped to keep body temperature up so that one of the worst weeks in the life of those caught in Texas, eventually ended with us alive.

The lessons learned are worth sharing. Why? We are living in a time of unmitigated natural and man-made disasters, the Bible refers to it as the time of the end or last days. Climate change is real! Last year, when a chunk of the Amazon burnt, scientists foretold that we would face extremes weather conditions: colder winters, hotter summers and more natural disasters, including storms and earthquakes. Small actions can save our lives.