Mount Sinai West nursing manager Kious Jordan Kelly died from COVID-19. Why would Mr. Kelly, in his 40’s, have put himself in a place where he would be exposed to a highly contagious, deadly virus? You might say, “Well, it was his job?” But, ask yourself, if your job required you to knowingly risk contracting a deadly disease for which there is no known cure, would you? Why didn’t Nurse Kelly just walk away and call in sick? Take vacation? Find a new job?
There is something special about the character of people called to serve on the frontline of our nation’s response to a pandemic. A frontline healthcare worker has no time to do a calculation of whether a person who cannot breath deserves the help of a nurse or doctor. They serve those who lie before them gasping for air knowing that droplets could enter their own bodies and put them at death’s door.
So, today I ask you to pray for those who are called to this this dangerous work with this excerpt from A Blessing for Healthcare Workers in a Time of Pandemic--Kate Williams, © GIA Publications:
“Blessed are the ones who cannot be isolated.
Blessed are the doctors, nurses, chaplains, hospital staff. Blessed are the hands that are raw from scrubbing and sanitizing, the palms that glisten with oil of healing. Blessed are the shoulders that carry the weight of life and death. Blessed are the feet that are aching from standing at bedside and running between rooms. Blessed are the hearts that are frightened and breaking. …
Blessed are those who look upon this sacred work as gift . Blessed are those who have had enough. Blessed are those who are overwhelmed. Blessed are those who lack the space to process all that lies ahead.
Blessed are the ones who are found weeping in secret corners of an emergency room so that we might see a strong face to greet our need. Blessed are those who weep openly with us, so that even our tears have companions.
Blessed are you, O God:…come quickly, abide unceasingly. Love us while we see the worst, give us the hope we need to see our way out.”