The Can’t-Get-Away Club started in Mobile, Alabama during the yellow fever epidemic of 1839. When most people left town to escape, a few stayed behind to care for the afflicted. Many of the caregivers died themselves. The point was that the club members could have gotten away, but their love of God and their neighbors wouldn’t allow them to leave. A lot more men and women gave their lives helping others in subsequent plagues until science discovered the causes, mosquitos. The club continued serving those afflicted through the last epidemic in 1897.
During our Covid 19 pandemic nearly all medical staff, like the Can’t-Get-Away Club, have chosen to remain at posts no amount of money could compensate. Some of these heros have been afflicted even died for their dedication. Most of us are not qualified for the highly skilled medical tasks required. Yet we can be challenged by their heroic commitment to their fellow man. Let us do what we can for others in the difficult days ahead.
The following is an excerpt from a final letter written by club member John Wesley Starr–aged 23–to his family seven days before his death of yellow fever:
“Nothing but the confidence which I have in the special providence of God could have enabled me to resist your pressing solicitations to fly from the danger. I felt that the danger was in flying. In the midst of destruction, I feel that I am in safety, because I am in the place, and surrounded by the circumstances which God ordered for me. Already, however, do I sympathize with you in your sorrowing, as by anticipation I view my death.”
I believe that Jesus facing his own death would have said exactly the same thing.