Being like Herpes: An object lesson in spreading Faith.

When our middle son was a just few weeks old, he was hospitalized because he was having these crazy seizures. It was awful. But the worst part was when the doctor came in and told us they wanted to give him a spinal tap to rule out the possibility of a Herpes infection on his brain.

I looked at my tiny newborn son, and then back up at the waiting doctor, and I was like, “Um…I think he’s still a virgin….” 

…Sorry, it’s really not funny. Herpes is no laughing matter… *snickers*… No really, don’t go! I’m sorry. I am. I won’t laugh about herpes any more (Ok. That might have been a lie. We’ll have to wait and see).

So the good doctor went on to explain that sometimes Herpes can be passed from mother to infant as the infant passes through the birth canal, and then it can form lesions on the baby’s brain. Horrible. That was a terrifying thought and we still didn’t know why our baby was seizing so we had to consider the likelihood. And even though I didn’t think I had Herpes, and I didn’t think El Chupacabra had herpes, we both sort of shrugged our shoulders and admitted that, given our pre-marital histories, it was certainly within the realm of possibility. Then we begged the doctor to test us for STD’s instead of torturing and potentially maiming our precious son, but he said that wouldn’t do the trick, and ultimately we allowed the procedure.

Turns out he didn’t have baby brain Herpes. Phew! 

He’s 12 now, completely seizure free, and has grown into the most brilliant, most gorgeous, most amazing middle child I’ve ever had. And I think he’s still a virgin. 

Anyway, the other day I heard detailed report on NPR about how Herpes is spreading like crazy in retirement communities. Like, the kind WHERE OLD PEOPLE GO TO DIE! …Yeah. Herpes everywhere. *shudder*

That was followed by a report about how the Herp is catching like crotch burning wildfire on high school and college campuses. By the end of those two reports, I was completely convinced that one cannot run to the store for milk without also picking up an unwanted case of Herpes. It’s THAT prevalent. So old people are spreading it around, and young people are spreading it around, and, based on the number of soccer-moms I know who also have it, everyone in the middle is spreading it around.

Then, those two bone chilling reports were followed by a sad one that was all about how the church in North America is shrinking. I listened and shook my head, like, “Man, if only we could spread our Faith as well as we spread Herpes.”.  And I was suddenly struck with this great idea for a line of VWM t-shirts that say “Jesus lasts longer than Herpes!” and “Spread Hope not Herpes!”. But then I remembered Christian t-shirts suck…

Anyway, where was I going with all this……?

Oh yeah. My point is that maybe the church needs to take a lesson from Herpes. We need to be getting more intimate with people, I mean, not like that kind of intimate, but maybe we need to invest in the people around us on a deeper level (but not like that). I’m just saying that if we want Jesus to go viral, like Herpes, we’re gonna have to get spiritually naked, bare our souls, share our faith in a way that others can’t even help but to pass it along.

***Not gonna lie, I was a little afraid to post this cause I don’t want to offend anyone who may, or may not, have a raging case of the Herp. This is why I didn’t specify that I do or do not have it. That’s between me and Jesus. And El Chupacabra. And my doctor. And on rare occasions by kid’s doctor, but only when their having seizures. I’m just gonna leave a dangling question mark, like a mysteriously veiled show of solidarity with my virus carrying friends. Fist bump.*** 

Soooo, whadaya think? I mean, about the t-shirts?? Slogan suggestions are welcome.



  1. Kirk on May 19, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Nobody likes me anyway…I'd buy a T-Shirt.

    I always like to say "been there, done that and bought the T-shirt"….even if I don't have an STD….

  2. Aydan on May 19, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    When I saw the title line I misread it as "Being like Hermes" which also works.

    Your posts brighten my day!

  3. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on May 19, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Kirk, I always know I can count on you!!

    Haha, Aydan, you're right, it does work with Hermes! Glad to make you smile.

  4. the J in PJs Til Noon on May 19, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    These would be Christian shirts that definitely WOULD NOT suck!

  5. Rob on May 20, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Okay, I had to tweet that.

    Jamie, forget t-shirts, you should sell those lines to some Christian online dating service. "HI, my name is Joe. I spread hope, not herpes. Care to date me?"

    I think God may have just giving you the inspiration to funding your entire missionary journey.

  6. Elisa on May 20, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I want the shirt that says "Jesus is going VIRAL!" 🙂 And when I see someone in another of your t-shirts I'll salute: *pumps fist to chest*. It'll be like a secret handshake…you know…so we don't actually touch and spread…um…ANYTHING.

  7. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on May 20, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Elisa, you are brilliant! I'm especially down with the part about not touching.

  8. Tripp Crosby on May 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

    First of all. Your posts are causing me to read blogs other than my own. Please keep writing.

    Secondly, can Tyler and I come to Costa Rica and make a sketch with you and your husband?

  9. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on May 20, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Aw thanks Tripp.
    That would be cool! You and Tyler (plus wives, kids, dogs, whatever) are welcome to join us in Costa Rica anytime. 🙂

  10. Sarah on May 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

    So.. I'm going to get geeky philosophical like I do. But the best thing about herpes (??)– Um… Contextually speaking— is that people spread it when they don't even know it… If Christian values were that deeply engrained in people, that they didn't even KNOW they were carrying a raging case of virtue, they could spread it without even meaning to. Without knowing it… Ex girlfriends and old friends would just find themselves engaging in honesty or choosing to be generous. The symptoms appear after just weeks of contact with a Christian, but sometimes can take years to manifest. 🙂

  11. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on May 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Sarah. Good God, you are a Herpes contextualizing GENIUS. THANK YOU!!!

  12. SilatJunkie on May 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    friggin hilarious and I'm completely wanting to start a line of shirts like that! Seriously. I'm a designer and I work in marketing and i think they would be LIKE HERPES and spread….

  13. crackers and cheese on May 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Favorite quote of my roommate: Glitter is the herpes of crafts.

    So freaking true. Flippin' glitter spreads EVERYWHERE and it's so hard to get rid of!

    I'd wear the "Spread hope not herpes" shirt.

    Yes, I've heard that STDs are spreading among retirement communities. You have widows and widowers who probably married their high school sweethearts 50-60 years ago and never slept with anyone else before their spouse died, so they barely know what a condom is, don't see the need for it because they're post-menopause (this reminds me of a scene from Something's Gotta Give), and they mistakenly believe that only young people have STDs.

  14. (elaine) on May 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I'm glad I found you because you "keep it real." And I'd wear a t-shirt that said "spread hope not herpes" IF it wasn't one of those form-fitting numbers because I certainly don't want my form fitted.

  15. Anonymous on May 20, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    i feel guilty laughing at this blog.
    soooo funny!
    is it "un-Christian" to laugh at the herpes reference?
    too late!!!

  16. Loren on May 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

    ha! I have to know how the doctor reacted to your reaction! very funny! (Not that Herpes is in anyway funny) If you're set on the t-shirt route, def. go with Rob's line… I SPREAD HOPE, NOT HERPES!

    What about JESUS IS THE GOOD KIND OF VIRAL because once you get Him, He will never, ever leave you, no matter how many times you screw up?

    Yeah, I'm not really good with catch phrases.

  17. Pam on May 22, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I'm in for multiple shirts! Spread hope not herpes, Jesus is the good kind of virus, Love is a virus – spread it, whatever! I think Rob is right: this may be a way to fund your mission journey! :o)

  18. Zac on May 24, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Ha! This reminds me of those commercials for some Herpes medication where some chick would say, "Life is full of hassles. Genital herpes is one of mine."

    Christian T-shirts do suck when they say crap like 'Add Jesus' instead of Adidas. However, when a Christian T-shirt includes the word Herpes, well that is something that could go Viral! If an old person found it offensive you could invite them to talk to their retirement community friends about which they would rather be spreading!

  19. Chelsea Robbins on May 24, 2010 at 10:39 am

    You're hilarious. I think you're right about getting spiritually naked with others and baring our souls. your posts always make me laugh.

  20. Carrien on May 25, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I just followed you here from your comment on the bloggess's latest post. And I'm laughing out loud and just read this to my BIL. Thanks. I'll be back.

  21. ~*Jess*~ on May 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    This was one of the best posts ever in life. I love it! Because 1) that was damn hilarious and you left me wondering where you were going and 2) It's true!!! People do need to get real and for some reason they're shy to do so if it's about religion. You. Are. Awesome.

  22. A Cajun Down Under on May 26, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Hilarious! I'm even reading it aloud to my husband. First time on your site and it is great to see a sense of humor with the message. Spread Hope Not Herpes — I love it.

  23. Cat on September 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

    i love how you can turn any conversation.. even one with herpes and make it about God, i love it!

  24. crackergiant on January 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    i think christianity is bullshit and speaking as someone who has herpes i would be pissed if i saw someone wearing a shirt that said anything like that. i think someone should make a shirt with a scale that has jesus on one side and darwin on the other and the side with darwin outweighs jesus just like like scientific evidence. whatya think?

Leave a Comment