Hi friends! It does not even seem real that Easter Sunday is tomorrow morning. During this crazy time, worship has looked so different. I wanted to write to you today, to share an Easter blessing with a written liturgy from a book we have in our home.
First, I wanted to share what church has looked like for us from home. Bread and wine (or grape juice), a candle to be reminded of God’s love for us in this dark world, and church members on Zoom. This looks crazy, different, and feels weird. The lines between church and work are blending even farther than normal due to my husband working from home. So I am trying to take the time to slow down and sit in the moments that are quiet and free.
So here’s what I really wanted to share since I came across it. It’s from a book called Every Moment Holy by Douglas McKelvey. I wanted to leave you with this Easter blessing from this book titled A liturgy for Medical Providers. (any bold places are my own emphasis). I know that there may be some of you reading who may not believe at all, and know that that is okay from me. No judgement here, just love. I know that this liturgy can speak to and work for all of my medical professional friends; nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, staff at hospitals or nursing homes, and so many more. Whether you are an essential worker or not, if you are feeling over-worked and overwhelmed, or just trying to figure out a new normal at work and at home. This is for you, this is for me, this is for all of us. I hope you enjoy.
A Liturgy for Medical Providers
“O Christ our Healer, There is no end to malady, sickness, injury and disease in this broken world, so there is no end to the line of hurting people who daily need my tending. Therefore, give me grace, O God, that I might be generous with my kindness, and that in this healing and care-taking vocation my hands might become an extension of your hands, and my service a conduit for your mercy.
For it is so often not an easy place to be– so near to suffering, to injury, to pain, to emergency and fear and confusion, and sometimes even to dying and death and grief–but I believe it is exaclty the sort of place you would be, O Lord, amongst those who hurt. So let my practice of medicine be centered in an understanding of your heart.
Let me practice medicine because you are a healing God who feels compassion and extends mercy. Let me practice medicine because you are near to those who are in need, to those who face grief and loss. Let me practice medicine as a willing servant of your redemption, pushing back–by means of my vocation–the effects of the fall. Let my presence in this place lend a human face to your compassion.
Even when my schedule is crammed with appointments, rounds, or duties, let me never view my patients as mere tasks on a to-do list. Give me grace instead to be always–even in our brief encounters–attentive and responsive to the hearts of human beings made in your image. Let me extend kindness and mercy even to those who are too angry, frightened, bitter, or in pain to respond with anything but venom. Let me especially love them, for they suffer–even more than from physical ailment–from a lack of understanding or experience of your overwhelming grace and mercy and love. Let their time with me be to them a taste that might awaken a hopeful hunger in their hearts.
I can do none of these things on my own. Apart from your grace, I have no grace to give. So give me your grace in greater measure, O Lord. Let me find also, in the midst of such constant need, a rhythm of service and rest that will enable my own soul to be tended and nourished–that in the time I spend with patients I will have a deeper repository of patience and kindness to share with them. Teach me how to better balance my duties and my days, so that this would would not make me absent from the lives of my family and friends and church. Let me be well-woven into these communities and relationships, enjoying ample time with them, being available to them, and caring for their needs even as I allow them to care for mine. Let me never be so consumed by my vocation that those closest to me suffer negligence.
I would not just be a doctor or a nurse or a medical provider, O God. I would be a minister of your healing and compassion at work in your world. I would be a living witness of your love expressed in a practical care of people. I would be your disciple in this place, at this time, among these people. So give grace, Lord Christ. Give me grace this day and all days, that I might serve you well by loving and serving others in this healing trade, ever laboring in view of that day when your kingdom will be fully realized, at the greater mending of the world, at the great ending of all ills. Let me play a small part in that great work, today. Amen.”
May it be so friends. May this fine you with peace, love, and care during these trying times.
Love and peace to you,