Les Sillars – Protecting the most vulnerable


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, March 17th. Good morning to you! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. For most people, the coronavirus is as inconvenient as having a cold or flu. But senior citizens are much more vulnerable. That’s why “social distancing” is so important, as Dr. Horton described a few minutes ago.

Yet protecting older people is not the only reason to do this. Here’s WORLD’s Les Sillars.

THOMAS: These are my coronavirus gloves and I wear them when I go out and I disinfect these with disinfectant wipes …

LES SILLARS, COMMENTATOR: This is Mike Thomas. Like me, he’s an elder at Fellowship Bible Church in Winchester. His gloves are tight fitting. Blue and black.

THOMAS: It’s something to keep me mindful of social distancing.

SILLARS: What kind of gloves are they?

THOMAS: They’re mechanic gloves, actually, from Walmart. Nothing special, but they do have the things in the fingertips so you can operate your smartphone without taking your gloves off …

I first saw Mike’s gloves after an elders’ meeting last week. We’d been discussing what to do about the virus. We were taking it seriously but, you know, nobody wanted to panic or anything. Then Mike spoke up. He explained about his new grandson, Seth.

THOMAS: It hits home for us a little bit in that we have a newborn grandson who was two months premature born in October, and one of the conditions or problems with preemies is that they have inadequate lung development.

That leaves Seth seriously vulnerable to lung diseases like COVID-19. He is also a Down Syndrome baby, and that makes it worse.

Mike and his wife Donna babysit Seth’s older sister Clara most days. They can’t let her take any diseases back home. So, they disinfect. A lot. They even change clothes more often. They stopped going to the playground. Here’s Donna.

DONNA: I’ve never, I guess I’ve always thought I do a reasonable amount of handwashing, but now I do so much more because it’s clear to me my reasonable wasn’t really effective, so …

You’d think that Mike and Donna would do anything to stop the spread of the virus. It could be life and death for Seth. And they are cautious. Our church has canceled events and put services online.

But Mike and Donna also believe church members should help sick neighbors where possible. We should give generously so the church can help those in need.

Mike and Donna reminded me that Christ is with us. Always. So sometimes loving your neighbor means staying home with Lysol wipes. And sometimes it means looking for ways, prudently, to minister to people next door.

THOMAS: Let’s walk around with that assurance, that confidence, and minister to people. That’s what we’re asking our folks to do is really lean into the situation and look around to see how we can help others.

I’m Les Sillars.


(Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress via AP) Volunteers wear gloves while bagging lunches for area Charlottesville students in need Monday, March 16, 2020 at the PB&J Fund. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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