Last spring my husband and I experienced a first: we contracted a virus at the exact same time. Until then, our illnesses had always been staggered, out of sync just enough that we could still take care of another.
But not this time. This time it hit us full force, on the same day, within the same hour. Even worse, it was a stomach virus, so there was only one thing to do: each of us fled to separate bathrooms where we lay pathetically wrapped around our own respective toilets. It was every man for himself.
I would have stayed by that toilet the rest of the night had we not been the parents of an 18-month-old son who, incidentally, was wandering around the house unattended. Both my husband and I were too incapacitated to watch him. We had no family close by, and we didn’t want our friends to enter our plague-ridden home. So, I started to panic.
Eventually, desperation won the day. Between imposing on our friends and letting our son have free reign of the house, there was only one clear choice. I picked up the phone and called a friend from church.
That experience is among only a handful of times when I have been needy enough to ask my church for help. On another occasion, I had to go to the hospital while my husband was out of town, so I called a church member. Apocalyptic illnesses aside, I don’t depend on my church for much—not like I depend on my family.1