A twenty-five-year-old woman went to the hospital after dealing with pain and irritation in her throat for five days. Her symptoms began after she consumed sashimi, a kind of raw fish. According to “The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene” report, doctors soon identified the problem: a 1.5-inch black worm in her tonsil.
Further tests showed that she had been infected with Pseudoterranova azarasi, a parasitic roundworm that usually infects marine mammals such as walruses and seals. Humans can contract the worm by consuming raw fish or squid. When the worm is seen, it is usually found in the stomach; infections in the throat are reportedly rare.
A parable of human nature
This Japanese woman’s experience is a parable of human nature. Consider three responses:
One: We should learn from each other.
I have eaten raw fish in the form of sushi many times over the years. I have also eaten raw fish when traveling overseas. Not until reading this report did I worry that I might contract a worm in my tonsil as a result.
What happens to you might happen to me. One reason COVID-19 is such a global crisis is that the virus can infect anyone on the globe. An effective vaccine developed in one country will be extremely good news for every country.
As a result, humans should learn from history and each other. Joseph teaches us that personal integrity can lead to global significance. Moses shows us that one man can speak truth to power and change the course of history. Daniel reminds us that our God is greater than any earthly threat. Paul is proof that the Holy Spirit can transform any sinner into a sanctified messenger of truth. John’s encounter with Jesus on Patmos demonstrates our Lord’s omnipresent grace.
If you will follow Jesus fully today, your faithfulness will touch those you influence and echo in eternity.
Two: What is hidden seldom stays hidden.
God says of sinful people, “My eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes” (Jeremiah 16:17). That’s why it is so urgent to confess our sin immediately and claim the forgiving grace of our Lord (1 John 1:9).
If you think you are successfully hiding your sins, know that God knows them and that, if you do not confess them with a repentant heart, the world will soon know them as well.
Three: What we cannot see can affect us in ways we cannot foresee.
SARS-CoV-2 is one-nine-hundredth the width of a human hair, but it is devastating the world. Cancer that begins microscopically can metastasize until it kills its victim. Conversely, invisible sentiments such as love and courage can transform our lives and those we influence.
Salt is unseen when it is effective. A seed that dies becomes a tree. If you will choose to love your Lord and your neighbor (Matthew 22:37–39), your unseen commitment will make a difference you cannot predict.
You cannot measure the eternal significance of present faithfulness.