You Are Not Forgotten
Earlier on during the pandemic I was on a Zoom meeting with a group of religious leaders and educators. We heard from one of the chaplains who was serving in the midst of the increasing COVID cases with limited PPE. Ted Taylor from Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in Hamilton described in detail his experience as a faith leader in such trying times. One of our strengths as communities of faith is our ability to physically bring people together in times of crisis. But with the guidance given to us by our government and public health officials, this strength needed to be re-imagined.
The group assembled on the call wanted to know how we could best support people like Ted: the first responders, medical professionals, spiritual care teams, hospital staff, and anyone else who was working non-stop to care for others.
Ted paused for a moment and with a heavy sigh he said, "Send them a note. Let them know 'We see you. You are not forgotten.'"
This week we sent flowers to several hospitals and medical centers around Trenton. These places included: St. Francis MC, Henry J Austin MC, Capital Health MC, Penn Medicine Princeton MC, and Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. I hand delivered them with a note attached, thanking the staff for their selfless work through extraordinary circumstances and letting them know they are not forgotten.
Our gifts were met with surprise, appreciation, and joyful laughter. I got to know a couple security guards, some administrative staff, emergency department staff, and a floor supervisor.
This period of time is testing our capacity for compassion, among other things. We're called to help carry each other's burdens in whatever way possible, especially through words of encouragement. Several letters to the early church were words of encouragement at a time when they could not meet. However, Paul was imprisoned, in transit, or was far away from his congregation--entrusting them to his friends. The circumstances differed but the heart of Christ still binds us together all the same. May the Holy Spirit steady our worried hearts and reignite our passion. May God draw us into deep prayer and faithful action.