What are you passing on?

September 14, 2020 · Print This Article

Infections of Coronavirus are on the increase in the UK. The R number is now at 1.2 meaning infections are on the rise. But I didn’t need a number to tell me that, a few days ago I got a Track and Trace call. Not the call you ever want.

The school I work in called to tell me that I’d been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus. When you get a call like that, it creates a strange feeling of uncertainty. A feeling that things are about to change for the next 14 days.

After booking a test, I started to replay every moment of interaction I’d had with the person who tested positive. I had walked and talked with them for some hours. Unnervingly, I suspected I might now have the virus too. And it made me think. In a time like this, we are confronted with the realisation of how easy it is to pass something on to someone.  The very nature of existence is defined by interactions with others. But this virus brings an awareness that interactions are not always neutral. In the case of COVID-19, interactions can leave us worse off.

Maybe it was irony that at around the same time, I happen to watch an ad on Facebook with a similar theme. This ad stopped my thumb from swiping to move further down my feed. It was too dramatic to pass by without a little more of my attention. It was a filmed scene. A man with a group of friends. But they were not the focal point of the scene. A lady’s shriek indicated that there was something to be afraid of. An unkempt, dirty man in rags approached…”it’s a leper,” said one of the men. I knew enough about leprosy to know why you stay back. It’s highly infectious and if you get it, it causes severe, disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage. It’s a life destroyer. Another of the friends shouted, “cover your mouth,” now where have I heard that before?

But as the leper approached, one man did not cover his mouth or move away. Instead, he moved towards the leper. By now, memories from my childhood told me that I was familiar with this story. It was to become clearer as this uninhibited man walked towards the leper, his friends protesting not to touch him. Maybe the story is starting to sound familiar to you too?

I remembered enough to know what was about to happen. The leper was touched by this man. But instead of the infection being passed on, there was a reverse infection. Something in the man was passed to the leper, healing him of his leprosy. This was an ad for the first multi-season series about the life of Jesus, called The Chosen. Season one was the highest crowd-funded TV series. Here’s the powerful scene. You can check out the series on the App Store or Google Play.

This story reminded me of how fascinated I was with this man Jesus in my childhood. Maybe the story intrigued you too. Wherever you stand with Jesus, I wonder if there’s not something we can still take from it? For me, it reminds me that our interactions are not neutral. When we leave people after meeting them, we leave them either better or worse off. Our being and energy can be infectious for good or bad.

So what are we passing on?

Richard Fowler info@because.uk.com

Richard is editorial assistant at Because


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