Pepped by his desire to regain his sight, a blind man went to Jesus and asked for His help. The healing Savior placed His hands on the eyes of the enthusiastic amaurotic fellow and asked, “Can you see anything?” The man responded, “Yes! I see people, but they look like trees walking.”
Recognising some distortion in his vision and his lack of visual acuity, Jesus touched him a second time and he saw everything clearly.
Within the challenges we face and the gripping impact of this COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be the year that makes this century roar and visionary clarity and visual acuity must drive men and women of faith and conviction to take their place and occupy the halls of government, the corridors or education, the channels of communication, the byways of philanthropy and the marketplaces of Wall Street, Main Street and the mall centers of our world.
The eyes are the lights to the soul, and we are all left with two options: what we see will propel what we believe OR what we believe will produce what we will see.
Vision is indeed a powerful thing and it is within the scope of our visual capacity that we gain foresight, utilize hindsight and engage our deep, inner powers to release insight. As God created humans, we are duly endowed with a measure of vision beyond the physical eyesight. And it is when we fail to see clearly that we need a second touch.
Let me make reference to the misquoted statement attributed to the globe-hopping billionaire philanthropist Melinda Gates. So that we are guided by facts and not “fake news,” Gates did not say, “I see dead bodies all over Africa.” She did say, “… look at what’s happening in Ecuador, they are putting bodies out on the streets. You are going to see that in countries in Africa.” This is consistent with her perspective and what I hope is a genuine concern for Africa and “developing countries.”
Melinda Gates sees as man sees and not as God sees. And how can we fault her for that? She is human! She sees the coronavirus having a horrible impact on developing countries and probably believes that one of the 8 vaccines she supports can eventually remedy the problem.
My WhatsApp went crazy and my email inboxes are flooded with expressions of disdain and anger over her statements and expressions. It is beyond dispute that Ms. Gates, like most citizens of the world, are ill advised, disinformed and misguided about Africa.
She may well be an inadvertent embracer of the negative stereotypes, faulty portrayal and deliberate subjugation of this divinely imbued continent that is the envy of the world. I salute her for thinking of Africa and having Africa in her heart.
To the many on the continent and across the globe who are bothered by her expressions, Melinda Gates’s statement, although misquoted, is NOT a “prophecy of doom.” Hers was a philanthropic forecast, not a prophetic pronouncement. She may be gifted with projected intelligence, but not prophetic authority. Guided by her human intellect and armed with hindsight and a blurry eyesight, “she saw men like trees walking.” Nothing that a second touch won’t clear up!
So let me assist as a prophetic voice. First and foremost, the coronavirus has taken almost 120,000 lives among the most affected fifteen countries in Europe, and less than 1,200 among the top 15 affected in Africa. Africa represents less than one half of one percent of all of the coronavirus deaths in the world, and while we can all agree that a single death is one too many, it is clear that God’s hands of protection are over Africa.
And let me also state for the record that while it is understood that city morgues in Guayaquil, Ecuador are full and that there may be corpses wrapped in plastic on a few streets in that South American country, similar conditions exist in Italy, Turkey and other countries around the world. Seventeen bodies were uncovered in an outside shed near a nursing home in New Jersey and only last week, 20 bodies – some in bags and some uncovered – were practically left on the street outside a funeral home in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn because they had nowhere to put them.
The world is in a panic and pandemonium fills our day. This is a great pandemic and God is man’s only hope and panacea. Our global God is not the orchestrator of diseases, the perpetrator of these deadly human plagues nor is He the creator of the damnable sequence of the humanly engineered events that would eventually produce plague-like debilities that blight our world.
In the sixth century, the Justinian Plague wiped out half of Europe, the first Bubonic Plague took almost 200 million lives mainly in Europe and Asia, the Italian Plague killed almost half a million, and then here was the Great Plague of London, the Great Plague of France, and more recently – exactly 100 years ago ending in 1920 – the Spanish Flu claimed close to one hundred million lives.
It must be noted that all these plagues skirted around Africa and so has the coronavirus. But that’s not where the story ends. Why is Europe so devastated by plagues? Why did COVID-19 journey from Wuhan, China to Italy and Spain? Why such a great impact on the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium? These countries sat in a boardroom in Berlin, Germany in 1884 and 1885 and plotted a strategy to divide and devastate Africa.
These same countries made slaves out of humans and chopped up children and babies, dumping their bodies like animals, and these are among the countries that used military, political and criminal intelligence to scout out and assassinate thousands of African leaders and friends of Africa. And all of this the Bible says would happen and with the resulting consequences.
The Bible talks about the nations that shall oppress the holy people of God and after a while, they shall arise because they have a little strength left (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 3:8). This is indeed a season to turn to the prophetic word of God.
Finally, let me once again commend the Gates for their work and the billions of dollars they are investing in vaccines. And let me tell them my take on the 8 vaccines that Africa needs:
VACCINE 1 – Africa needs the return of her sons and daughters who were stolen from their families and homelands. It would be a huge “shot in the arm” for Africa if these brilliant children can journey back to help build a stronger Africa.
VACCINE 2 – Africa needs the European nations and multinational corporations to release their economic stranglehold, allow African nations to thrive and give them back their lands.
VACCINE 3 – Africa needs full payment for the trillions of dollars taken and exploited out of its countries and a return of the trillions in priceless treasures, artifacts and heirlooms looted from her countries.
VACCINE 4 – Africa needs restitution and reparations for the tens of millions killed in the Slave Trade, and payment for the millions of hours of slave labor that spans hundreds of years in countries across the globe.
VACCINE 5 – Africa needs its positive image and its good name back. Maybe the Gates can commission media giant Microsoft and other counterparts to begin to market and promote a new Africa, the beautiful revolution.
VACCINE 6 – Africa and its global population need a level playing field for economic, political and social opportunities – free of all discrimination.
VACCINE 7 – Since the Gates are so concerned about overcrowding in the township and lack of water to wash hands, a helpful vaccine is to invest 20 to 30 billion dollars in affordable housing in Jamestown (Ghana), Soweto (South Africa), West Point (Monrovia) and Mokok (Nigeria). Since Europe so greatly underdeveloped Africa, the development of roads, bridges and water systems are great infrastructure projects as well.
The biggest shot in the arm for MOTHER AFRICA (VACCINE 8) is for her to be left alone. Africa doesn’t need handouts and set asides, and she surely doesn’t need aid in exchange for corporate exploitation.
So instead of all this anti-Melinda venting, let’s challenge the Gates to help deliver these eight vaccines and help Africa to rise. This is the century that I see Africa rising! And I can see it clearly with visionary clarity and visual acuity. Beyond this deadly plague, I see men and women rising!
Rev. Dennis Dillon is an award-winning journalist and Christian minister from New York. He is publisher of The New York Christian Times and pastors Rise Church, New York. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.