The Greek language back in the days of the Bible, that is, the New Testament, didn’t use punctuation. That sometimes caused problems for the translators.
In the King James Version, in the book of Acts, chapter 19 and verse 12 it tells us that they brought from Paul’s body to the “sick handkerchiefs and aprons…”
Well, that’s not really what it says, but in a cursory reading, it certainly looks that way. And, it’s all due to the lack of a comma missing from the appropriate place. The reality is, I’ve never heard of a “Sick Handkerchief!”
About 45 years ago we had a Sick Blanket at our house. Kathy knit the thing together over the period of about two weeks in her spare time. She loved to keep her hands busy! It was sort of a cream color in alternating strips of orange. We kept in on the back of the couch or a chair as a throw – I guess you call them an Afghan.
There was a transformation that took place though, as time passed and the kids grew. They liked it, too, especially when they were sick.
When they had the flu or just a cold, with fever and chills, it was very comforting to have the Sick Blanket to lay over them to keep them warm. I can still see Laura with her flushed red face, sleeping with the orange and white afghan pulled up around her chin.
Our son, Lance, came up with a rare condition one time called Henoch–Schönlein purpura.
I could go into a long dissertation of the cause and origin of that disease, but what’s important is that he had the opportunity to spend several weeks tucked under the Sick Blanket on the couch, or on the floor in front of the fireplace in the old house on Hunt Road.
When we moved from Hunt Road to the village of Ashville, the Sick Blanket went with us, tossed on the back of the sofa in front of the large picture window overlooking the back yard.
I remember one Sabbath afternoon we had company home for dinner after church. We gathered around the Round Oak Table for the usual delicious meal and then sent the kids out for a walk or off to play some innocuous games fit for such an occasion while we adults sat about the living room to discuss the grand and lofty theological issues of the day.
As is often the case with such heady discussions, one after the other began to nod off – I in my large, patch-work over-stuffed platform rocker and others wherever they might have landed. At one point I roused slightly and noted Ted and Dr. Bob stretched out on the living-room floor both covered with the Sick Blanket.
When I talked to Lance the other day, he couldn’t really remember much about being sick under the blanket but he did remember when he would come home from school on long weekends he would crawl under the sick Blanket for a nap. But, he recognized that he had stretched out considerably from his younger days and he would have to tuck the blanket under his feet and stretch it up around his shoulders. His feet had grown “too big for his bed!!”
My daughter, Laura, has four children. Children get sick.
Some time ago, she called Kathy and told her that she missed the Sick Blanket because the flu was going through the house and she was remembering the comfort the Blanket brought her when she was a child.
So, Momma tossed it in the washer and cleaned it all up and then packed it into a box and sent it out to Kansas City, Kansas so Laura could have the Sick Blanket for her little ones. Now it continues the tradition in the family.
I wonder, though, if it will last for another generation? Perhaps it will turn out to be something like Linus’ blanket from “Peanuts.” You know, a few threads remaining from the original blanket but the family still loathe to discard it.
But, even if that turns out to be the case, both Lance and Laura and their families will have the precedent set and will carry on the tradition of the sick Blanket “throughout their generations!”