A few months ago, Dan and I needed help around 10:30 at night. The problem we had wasn’t an emergency, however the typical people that would come out and help were not available. So after talking to a few different people, we spoke to a police dispatcher and a short while later two officers showed up at our house. We felt helpless, and honestly quite silly, but that didn’t matter. The officers were kind, incredibly compassionate and went way out of their way to help us. On Monday, one of those kind officers was killed in the line of duty.
All things considered, I have had an incredibly easy life. I have called 911 once in my life, but it was to report something that didn’t directly impact me. An officer had never been to my house before our issue a few months ago, and it wasn’t for a real emergency. I have never rode in an ambulance and while I have had to go to the ER, I have never had such a serious condition that I jumped to the top of the list. However, since learning of the kind officer’s death, I have realized there are so many people around me that deserve to be thanked. The reality is, “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough.
Our world is a crazy place right now. The COVID-19 crisis has turned our communities upside down. Grocery stores are empty and cities are shutting down. Every one of us has been impacted by this virus outbreak or knows someone who is impacted. Many of us are concerned about the lasting impacts of this crisis.
A quick scroll through any social media source or news outlet gives us all the information we could ever need (or want) regarding the state of our world. I think it’s safe to say, many of us are asking ourselves what is the difference between “living in fear” and “walking in wisdom”.
While the world seems to be spinning out of control, I am left thinking about the people who don’t have a choice but to continue to serve. The people who are behind the scenes making the world a safer place simply because of who they are or what they do. I feel like I have so many people I want to thank:
To the men and women who are in the military who are protecting our borders and fighting for our freedoms – thank you.
To the dispatchers who are answering our 911 calls, figuring out what people need, sending those people, and staying on the phone to talk us through the hardest, scariest moments of our lives – thank you.
To the police officers who are keeping our streets safe, responding to help us when we are helpless, putting their lives on the line to keep us safe and keeping the peace – thank you.
To the paramedics who are responding to the hurting first, who are holding together broken lives, and drying tears – thank you.
To the firemen and women who are also responding to the hurting, saving people from dire situations, and literally running into burning buildings – thank you.
To the medical clinic receptionists who are answering panicked calls, reassuring guests, taking extra precautions, scheduling and rescheduling appointments, and reminding those who are feeling miserable to wash their hands, cover their mouths and wear masks – thank you.
To the nurses who work outside of the hospital who are taking extra precautions, answering health questions, taking health histories, listening to all our worries and truly hearing our concerns – thank you.
To the doctors who work outside of the hospital who are taking extra precautions, juggling several patients, working long days to not only ensure our “normal” needs are met, but also ensuring the sick are seen, while also making sure our calls are returned and e-mails are responded to – thank you.
To the security personal who are patrolling shopping centers, schools and business; walking people to their cars and keeping eyes on young children – thank you.
To the ER triage nurses who are the first people who see the broken and bruised, who are wisely discerning our needs and ensuring we are treated with respect – thank you.
To the hospital nurses who are working extra long hours, taking extra precautions, juggling multiple patients with grace, giving the best care with a smile, gently holding hands and drying tears – thank you.
To the doctors who are also working extra hours and taking extra precautions, as well as making hard decisions, directing care, delivering bad news and saving lives – thank you.
To the surgeons who are also working extra hours and taking extra precautions, as well as still preforming surgeries, and saving lives – thank you.
To the hospital workers who are taking extra precautions to ensure patients are safe, cooking food for the patients, answering billing questions, disinfecting surfaces and keeping the hospitals running – thank you.
To the nursing home nurses who are caring for the residents daily needs, taking every precaution to ensure the residents stay safe, standing in as family, and taking the time to truly listen to the residents – thank you.
To the nursing home workers who are cooking and cleaning for the residents, standing in as family, and making the residents smile – thank you.
To the delivery drivers who are working long hours to ensure our bills, letters and online orders are arriving on time – thank you.
To the family members who love all of these people mentioned above, who are missing them as they work extra long hours, hugging them a little tighter and sending them into the world so they can serve us – thank you.
If I am being honest, saying thank you don’t seem like enough. Those words can feel incredibly empty. So many of the people I listed above see so much pain, destruction and horror. It must be so easy to lose sight of who God is. So today, I am turning my desire to say thank you into prayers.
I thank you for those who so selflessly serve our communities. I thank you for their compassionate hearts and their merciful spirits.
Father, I pray those mentioned will see your goodness, even when what they see in the world is nowhere close to good. (Psalm 145:8-9) It can be so dark and ugly out there, so God I pray that darkness does not drive those mentioned away from you. Instead, I pray those mentioned will see your goodness in the land of the living and will run to you (Psalm 27:13).
I pray those mentioned will have discernment and wisdom to know what actions to take in hard situations. (James 1:5). I pray they will be able to keep clear heads and be slow to anger, even when the situations around them are hard (James 1:19). I pray wisdom will guide their hearts and their actions will remain pure, considerate and sincere (James 3:17).
Father, I thank you that fear does not come from you (2 Timothy 1:7), and because of who you are we do not have to fear bad news (Psalm 112:7). I pray for those who serve will be strong, courageous and walk fearlessly without dread (Deuteronomy 31:6). I thank you that you promise we can do all things in you (Philippians 4:13). Father, I thank you that you are not a God of disorder, but a God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33) and I pray your peace will rule their hearts (Colossians 3:15). I pray that each night when they lay down they will sleep peacefully with no nightmares of any darkness they experienced during the day (Psalm 4:8).
I pray a hedge of protection around each mentioned. I pray they will be safe wherever they go. (Psalm 140:4 140:4) Father, I pray for more than just physical protection, but also for emotional and spiritual protection over all those listed above. Even when they walk into dangerous situations, I pray they will remain safe (Psalm 138:7). I pray that no evil plan, no weapon, and no harmful word will hurt them. (Isaiah 54:17).
Father, I thank you that you are a God of abundance (2 Corinthians 9:8). I pray that you will meet the needs of all those who serve (Philippians 4:19). I thank you that you don’t stop with just enough, but that you will bless with more than I can imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
Father I pray for the families of those who don’t come home. I thank you that you promise that you are extra close to them (Psalm 34:18). I pray you will hold hearts as we grieve. I pray you will provide support for them in big ways.
Finally Father, I thank you again for these people who serve our communities. I pray you will bless them richly, because without their sacrifice, our communities couldn’t survive.
In your name,