From wake-up call to immunity

In an ancient allegory there's timely lesson about bioterrorism and fear. Adam and Eve's second son, Abel, was a keeper of sheep. A shepherd such as he had to be both night watchman and daytime sentinel. He would have been soothed by harmless night sounds, and able to detect potentially harmful ones. Maybe he could even have sensed silent danger signals, such as the scent of a nearby predator.

What Abel failed to detect were the perils latent in his brother Cain's envy, anger, and self-justification. Abel may have been physically awake, but spiritually he was asleep. He paid the ultimate price for this. His brother murdered him.

Today's global dangers call on us to develop the full range of sentry skills. We can begin by just plain staying awake in our everyday lives—not suspicious out of anxiety, but alert out of love for our community. Inward calm comes with feeling the kingdom of heaven within—feeling that God's love is closer than our own breathing.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
October 21, 2002

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.