Good Morning!

Today comes to you from HOME SWEET HOME!!

We made it back, safely if not very comfortably.  For those of you who aren’t afforded the luxury of ‘staff travel’ at half price or less, let me assure you there is a great leveler in being the last to board, sometimes not sitting together and in the rear of cattle class.  Needless to say, I was sick of wearing a mask and was more than glad to get home.

Even if it was to be quarantined.

Not only by our son, who says we will not be coming near his babies, but also by the school they go to and the Australian government “strongly suggesting”, since we were in Hong Kong, that we confine ourselves to our house for at least 14 days.  We’re at day 12 since leaving HK and about to go nuts, but I have to admit we’re sort of enjoying the ‘down time’, foraging thru the pantry for food, catching up on reading and working in the garden.

Here’s a case you may find interesting.  Our cruise ship docked in Hong Kong on January 24th, the same day as another, larger ship arrived. We got off the boat and a stranger immediately told us to buy a mask, which we did. I didn’t know till later that it had just been deemed ‘illegal’ to be without a mask in Hong Kong; ironic when you remember that it had been illegal to wear one just a few days before because of all the protest riots.  I’m happy to say we saw no riots and the city was as lovely as ever but with very much reduced crowds, and the people we met were much more subdued than usual.  All in all though, it was a wonderful visit.

But back to that other ship that arrived the same day as we did. You’ve probably heard about it on the news, but it seems that an 80-year-old gentleman, six days after disembarking from his cruise, got sick and was tested positive for the Corona Virus.

Now, because this man would have been contagious while on the cruise, the ship is now tied up outside of Japan with more than 4300 people subjected to a 14-day quarantine. They are confined to their rooms and already at least 10 people have been offloaded to hospitals because they’ve become sick. Obviously the virus is no respecter of age or race, as Aussies, Americans, Filipinos, etc are coming down with it.

I can’t imagine, after the WONDERFUL month we’ve had traveling, anything more annoying than being stuck on a ship, no matter if it’s a fine luxury liner.  One family mentioned on the news, is confined in one “inside” cabin. This location is often a personal favorite with us as there are no windows and it’s very quiet.  Trouble is, they have two teenagers with them! AAAKKKKKKK can you imagine the “bonding”??

But we are finding our ‘quarantine’ rather cleansing, and in his usual “there’s a sermon in that” outlook on life, Tony has pointed out the theological implications. Get this:

The first quarantine started with Adam and Eve.  They were kicked out of the garden after only a few days (instead of being stuck in), and excluded from the 24-hour buffet. In fact, nothing was easy after that. Sin spread insidiously like, well, like a virus, first to Adam and Eve’s sons, and then on down to Noah, which called for yet another quarantine. God dealt decisively with the problem, but with even only eight survivors out of the whole world, sin’s sickness found a foothold.  And it still continues now, and no mask, no antiseptic, no isolating is going to get rid of it. Charles Colson once pointed out that, if a man were left alone in a room, he would do the wrong thing, every time.

Our own quarantine is up on Tuesday, and we get to be free again. It will be just in time for Tony’s doctor’s appointment with the radiologist. He will look at his PSA scores and decide if the therapy so far has had any affect on the cancer. Thanks for your prayers, and even more, for the peace that we continue to enjoy, thanks to you.

One of my favorite verses that comes to mind today is what Paul says in Colossians 1:20,

“…and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”

That’s what we’re looking forward to: peace made possible by the Blood of Jesus, lifting us out of the spiritual quarantine that sin has brought on. And by that Perfect Sacrifice, to be able to stand face to face with Jesus, masks removed, and say “Thank you”!

Hope you are all well and happy, and while you’re praying, please remember my nephew who is facing bypass surgery this next Thursday. And also two sets of dear friends from Japan who may be saying goodbye to their sons this week because of cancer’s specter.  Lord hasten the day when all things are perfect again.



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