Dave woke up shivering in the middle of the night.
“That’s strange,” he thought to himself. “I have my big blanket over me but I can’t stop shaking.”
Dave climbed out of his bed, stumbled out of his room, and pulled a blanket from the hallway closet. On the way back to his room, he accidentally stepped on his dog, Hank who was sleeping outside his door. Hank let out a hefty “yelp!”
“Shhh,” whispered Dave, “You’ll wake up the whole house!”
Just then Dave saw a light creep out from underneath his parents’ door, which his dad then opened.
“Hey, there, what’s wrong Why are you out of bed?”
“I was cold,” replied Dave, “So I came to get a bigger blanket.”
“Cold? Wow, Dave, you look awful! I think you may be sick,” replied his Dad feeling Dave’s forehead, “We better get you back to bed and I’ll call the doctor first thing in the morning. It looks like you’ll be missing hockey practice tomorrow.”
“I’m not THAT sick,” Dave griped. “I can still practice.”
“Well, that may be, but you don’t want to give your germs to your teammates, do you?”
“I won’t be kissing them,” said Dave.
“That doesn’t matter,” said his dad, laughing. “It’s better if you stayed home.”
“A total rip,” muttered Dave, “I’m no leper.”
“Dave, you’ll be better in a few days and then you’ll be back playing hockey with your friends. It’s like in the bible where Jesus healed those folks. While it was great to be finally healed of whatever disease they had, the best part was when they could be with their friends again.”
“Where we they before that?” asked Dave.
“Well,” said his dad, “they were shuffled away to the outskirts of town and couldn’t associate with anyone. It made them lonely. When Jesus healed them, it meant they didn’t have to be lonely anymore. So, in the next couple days, when you get better, you can see your friends again. But until then I’ll be here taking care of you.”
Dave’s dad picked Dave up and put him in bed and tucked the two blankets over him. Hank slept on Dave’s feet to keep them warm.
And before dad left to go back to sleep, they prayed a prayer like this as we do now:
Dear God: Help us when we get sick. Help us to not be lonely. Amen.