Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pray or Dr. Kent Brantly

The story coming out of Liberia and now Atlanta about Dr. Kent Brantly bears us taking note.  Dr. Brantly is a 33-year-old Christian missionary doctor who is showing us something of what makes Christianity strong – heroic.

This past Sunday in the Daily Beast, writer Michael Daly wrote about Dr. Brantly.  This secular newsman coined WWKD – off the much used WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do?).  Michael Daly says Kent Brantly’s actions in battling the African Ebola epidemic elicit us to ask “What Would Kent Do?”  He is exemplary.

Mr. Daly writes, "Among his fellow devout Christians, 33-year-old Dr. Kent Brantly should be honored as someone who has lived the answer to the question of What Would Jesus Do?  But he is a no less worthy example for those of any faith, or no faith at all.  Even atheists could find a guide to goodness in asking themselves What Would Kent Do? 

Here’s the story in a nutshell.  Dr. Kent Brantly is the real deal.  You can listen to the message he preached at his home church (Southeastern Church of Christ of Indianapolis) this past July.  Here’s the link:

He packed up his wife and two small children because of “the call of God” on his life.  Medicine was the means of showing the love of Jesus.  He signed on with Samaritan’s Purse for a two year stint in the ravaged nation of Liberia. 

Michael Daly writes, “What Jesus would do is what Brantly did when he agreed to work in an Ebola isolation ward in Liberia despite being admittedly terrified.”

To carry it further, when he found that he had been infected, he also knew his co-worker, Nancy Writebol, was in the same condition.  With only one dose of anti-Ebola serum available, he chose that she rather than himself be treated.

Christian history is filled with stories of faith, sacrifice, and heroism.  St. Tertullian of the 2nd Century declared, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."  Dr. Rodney Stark, in his book The Rise of Christianity, tells us that when pagans fled the plague-ravaged cities of the 2nd Century, Christians stayed behind to care for the sick.  In so doing, by such acts of self-less love, they won over an empire.

Examples of utter self-less devotion inspire us to pay the price in our day.  Dr. Kent Brantly stands as a testimony to us of the faith that overcomes the world.

Michael Daly concludes his article illustrating to us the power of sacrificial service.  "Brantly becomes the first person actually in America known to have Ebola. He also returns to us as a reminder of how magnificently decent we can be by actually living in accordance to principles we are all supposed to share.   Brantly would dismiss any comparison between him and Christ.  But, even if you do not believe in Jesus, you can ask yourself WWKD?"

Pray today for Dr. Kent Brantly.  And pray that God raise up more like him to touch our world.

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