Listen to Brenda: Take virus seriously
Pastor Paul Van Noy, who heads the flock at Candlelight Christian Fellowship in Coeur d'Alene, has been in the dangerous grip of COVID-19, hospitalized at Kootenai Health late last week.
Pastor Paul is one of the area's most recognized, most respected Christian leaders. He has a long track record of speaking his mind, sometimes walking right up to the fairly rigid line separating politics and religion and unabashedly crossing it. But rarely has he left anyone guessing what he really thinks, because if you ask, he'll tell you.
Pastor Paul has never gone so far as to deny the existence of what some scoffingly refer to as the China Flu. He has not outright rejected the efficacy of masks or social distancing. As any good shepherd might, he has done his all to keep Candlelight's welcoming arms open to those from many walks of life.
Pastor Paul has also been no stranger to social media, where he has from time to time shared his thoughts about COVID and its impact locally. As recently as July 17, he wrote this:
I have said here at Candlelight, “If a person wants to wear a mask they should be allowed to do so. However, if they don’t, that’s ok too.” “If you like watching on-line and feel more comfortable (for the time being) that’s ok.” But, we need to keep our doors open, activities occurring, and fellowship active. Moreover, closing down churches, businesses, and services is certainly not the answer to the concerns.
May we keep our heads at a time like this. And, may we defend our freedoms lest they quickly disappear. We will not close down our church, we will not stop singing praises to the Lord, and we will not be required to wear masks or refrain from allowing those who wish to wear one the opportunity.
How Pastor Paul contracted COVID is anybody's guess. But what's certain is that his wife, Brenda, has strong feelings about the way some people still smirk and shrug off COVID's potential destruction.
On social media last Friday, Brenda posted this:
I haven't taken this Covid seriously enough. I'm humbled. I have Covid and some of my friends have Covid now but more seriously my husband is in critical care in ICU with Covid and it is serious.
Please take this serious. Pray for healing. Love each other. Pray for those who have lost loved ones because of this EVIL virus!
To the Van Noys, we pray for a speedy recovery to full health.
And to the doubters and deniers, we pray you heed Brenda's words.