In light of the tragic Ebola outbreak in West Africa and beyond, we are learning some essential facts about this virus: Those who have died from Ebola are more contagious than those living with Ebola.
Burial practices are sacred and long-standing but people will literally die if they don’t change.
What has happened for generations: Loved ones gather around the body and family members of the same gender wash the dead body thoroughly before wrapping it in a burial cloth and then placing the body into a village grave.
What must happen now in order to save lives: Officials in haz mat suits take the body which is then either cremated or buried in a cemetery devoted to Ebola victims away from the home village.
Imagine the spiritual upheaval – not only from the rampant death in communities, but also from the inability to continue practicing an important custom of their faith.
So here is my terrible metaphorical connection: What would we in the church alter about our practices and customs if we realized that they were killing us? (Because some of them are.)
Image by Abbas Dulleh