30 Mar Thanksgiving for the Front Lines – Healthcare Workers
As a seventh grader, I remember being glued to the tv day after day after day in September 2001. I remember watching story after story of heroes rushing into the towers as they fell, just to save anyone possible. I remember watching in the days and weeks after the attacks as people from all over the world traveled to the city to help pull people from the rubble. I remember seeing people band together to support and love one another in the midst of fear, anguish and sadness.
As different as they are, these days feel eerily similar to those post 9/11. We’re once again threatened by an attack (this time from a virus), afraid of what’s to come and what it means for our economy, and glued to the tv as we watch it unfold. While firefighters, EMS and police are, once again life-saving heroes, this time, however, the medical professionals are the ones running into the “crumbling buildings” to save lives.
Last week, I had a rough week. I was trying to do it all – full-time mommy, teacher, business owner and Bible teacher. I felt pressure to over-perform for the sake of everyone around me… and do it all while trying to process my own emotions surrounding the coronavirus and all this season entails. And I wound up in a very negative space. I admitted that this season was hard and decided to take the pressure off myself and give myself grace. This week, I want to take my newfound energy a step further and express gratitude for those who are embracing a situation that is much harder than mine for the sake of others – our healthcare workers.
Every day, these men and women wake up and walk into danger. They face a reality where they can’t help everyone who needs it, but still show up anyway. They could very easily find themselves becoming the patients in this, but they still show up for our sake. Even more? They run the risk of spreading that danger to their own families, and yet they still show up. If COVID19 is a war, they are on the front lines, risking their lives day-in and day-out for people they don’t know.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:13
When they stand outside in the rain, cold, heat… wearing 3 layers of protective gear to swab people in their cars, they lay down their lives for us.
When they enter a room that is certainly infected with the virus to clean the space, creating a safe environment for the next patient, they lay down their lives for us.
When they care for those who were already sick or those birthing children, and serve as, not just their caretakers, but their stand-in family members in this season, they lay down their lives for us.
When they see pain, death, sadness… when they have to turn down care because there’s simply not enough to go around. When they’re exhausted, pushed to the limits, terrified for themselves and their loved ones. When they go home to process it all, and they can’t even hold their spouses or children to bring comfort, they lay down their lives for us.
When they send their children to their grandparents so their family is safe from the risk their service brings inside their own homes. They lay down their lives for us.
When they get up in the morning, terrified, exhausted, flustered, and anxious, and they still go to work, they lay down their lives for us.
That is love.
To our healthcare workers, you are so strong and so so brave. Thank you for showing up for us. Thank you for serving us. Thank you for loving us.
Today’s devotional is a petition to practice gratitude, specifically for our healthcare workers.
This season is so hard for all of us, pushing us to limits we didn’t know we had. While, yes, there’s freedom in admitting that it’s hard, we run the risk of falling into a pit of despair when the acknowledgement of the hard isn’t followed up with the practice of gratitude.
Practicing gratitude does not make the difficult disappear… but it does make the load lighter to carry.
So, today, please join me in practicing gratitude for our healthcare workers.
Pray for them. Thank God for their selfless love. Then thank them personally – text a nurse you love, share on social media that you’re thankful for their sacrifices, donate to a fund that helps lighten the load on them during this time… and then stay home. That alone, lightens their load as they work to lighten ours.