Today, I am so overwhelmed with worry for our healthcare workers. I hear them on the news, pleading for more understanding, more support, more awareness – begging us to take things more seriously. Trying to help us see what they see, when they ask us to please stay home, please be careful, please get the vaccine.
I see them on Twitter, petitioning the powers that be to hear their cry. They ask for paid sick days. They ask for stricter policies. They ask to be heard. I see them on Facebook and Instagram. I see the pictures posted at the end of weary days. I read the stories of who they saw die today, or who they had to admit to ICU today, or who they fear will not have a bed in the weeks to come. I see the silly memes they share to make light of their agony- trying to find humor in the darkness, trying to keep smiling so they don’t fall apart.
I hear the workers in my life and hear that they are scared. They cannot believe we are here. They cannot believe we are setting up field hospitals and discussing protocol for who will get a ventilator and who will be turned away. They despair that it has come to this, when they have worked so hard for so long.
I see them God, but only in glimpses. Only online. Only on the news. Only over a Zoom call with a friend or congregant here and there. But, You, God, see them every long day. Every exhausting minute.
And so to You, who sees them, I pray.
I pray for their aching bodies…
Their feet, tired from standing.
Their hands, sore from constant washing.
Their ears, rubbed raw from face masks.
Their bodies that need rest after too long a year, after vacations sacrificed and days off ignored, with no reprieve in sight.
I pray for their hurting hearts…
Comfort them in their grief, for those they have lost, and are losing.
Comfort them as they process the pain.
Comfort them as they seek to make sense of the senseless.
I pray for their peace…
Calm those who are afraid.
Soothe those who are angry.
Support those who are lonely.
Give them strength to endure God. Give them energy to sustain them. Give them wisdom. Give them grace.
And, by your power, God, protect them. Protect every doctor, making life and death decisions. Every nurse nurturing the sick. Every aide and orderly and physiotherapist and occupational therapist helping people get well. Every therapist and support worker caring for the vulnerable. Every radiologist. Every PSW. Every pharmacist. Every caregiver. Protect those who are protecting us.
In your mercy, Lord, we pray for our healthcare workers. For their faithfulness, we thank you. For their lives, we pray.