Today felt like a no good, very bad day. I turned on the news and once it was on, I could not turn it off. Along the way, I heard of more people affected by the virus. As the virus spreads further; it appears it is moving closer in my circles. A friend shared Tuesday about a loved one who tested positive; and today shared he had died. Perhaps that is what led me to watch more news. Hearing about the continued trauma in various places, and the predictions of the spread and impact in other places; all makes me feel so helpless.
My gratitude this night is for the many dedicated medical professionals. I read of an ER Nurse named Jennifer Cole, who traveled to New York City to serve as part of the disaster staff. She is helping as so many of the local medical staff have fallen ill, and cannot continue to care for patients. She wrote about losing a patient and the reality hitting harder and harder that this was not the first and will not be the last. I also heard from Chaplain colleagues working in hospitals at this time, and give thanks for the ways they support patients without loved ones able to be present. And also how the Chaplains are supporting the staff.
I share a prayer from a Chaplain this night…
A Blessing in Time of Pandemic by Rev. V. Ruth Schulenberg ©2020 May you have the strength you need for each moment and may you find rest for body and spirit when your shift ends. May you hold on to the values that have motivated you when the pressures have been too much. May you see the difference you make, even in the valley of the shadow of death. May your contributions be honored, not diminished through perfectionism, self-doubt, and unmet expectations. May your hands be blessed each time you wash them. May your anxieties be calmed each time you don your mask. May your voice be a comfort to others. May you find comfort in the voices of those you love. May you have the external and internal resources to meet the needs that demand your attention. May you engage each task and meet each person as if those were the most important minutes you will spend. May you have room in your schedule to prioritize your own well-being, space in your life for self-compassion, and energy in your body and spirit to care for yourself as you care for others. Each day, when others discover that you will be their caregiver or their coworker, may that knowledge lift their spirits. May your spirits be lifted in surprising ways, giving you moments of delight amid the distress. At the end of the day, may you remember that you are not alone, even in a time of distance from the ones you long to embrace. May you close your eyes to rest and then awaken with renewed hope and courage. Amen.
Originally Published to Facebook on April 10th, 2020 at https://www.facebook.com/creativecarolcelebrant/posts/152428906247309