20 Apr Through the eyes of our healthcare workers
4/20/20 – John Arevalo
Pulling out her phone from a plastic biohazard bag while drenched in sweat under PPE, Leah Arevalo (ICU Nurse at Georgetown Hospital) calls a patient’s daughter so that he and his family can have their evening FaceTime call. As his eyes glimmer with joy from seeing and hearing his family despite being on a ventilator, his family sends resounding words of love filled with an incessant hope and desperation for him to survive.
Two floors above Leah in the Neurosciences ICU, Matt Edwardson, MD recently consoled and prayed for a mother whose daughter lost the ability to speak after suffering a massive stroke. One of the hardest things for Matt and Leah is to see the consequences of the pandemic on families who are no longer allowed to visit their loved ones in the hospital, even as they are actively dying from COVID-19.
These are but a few examples of the numerous ways our healthcare workers from Citylight Church are ministering in their workplace. During this health week, we want to honor, serve, and pray for our healthcare workers more than we’ve ever had. We remember nurses like Ana Trejo, who in every time she puts on her PPE to triage a patient asks, “Why me Lord?” Yet there is a greater voice telling her, “Why not you?” as she rests on the promise that God truly is her refuge and strength (Ps. 46:1). We recognize Evelyn Alvarez’s (Quality Improvement Supervisor at GPW Health Center) courage to go from working behind the scenes to now assisting clinical staff with patient care and screening for possible exposure to COVID-19. We care for Hanna Rathke’s (NICU Nurse at INOVA Fairfax) dedication to keep babies safe and protected from exposure to this virus. We admire Jessica Edwardson’s (Pharmacist) ability to navigate the administration of the right medication for each patient, while also helping her co-workers cope with anxieties about this disease. Another one of our own, Becky Le, commits herself to “make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (Eph. 5:16) while she works long hours with hands full as an Infection Preventionist at Inova Fairfax. Lastly, we celebrate Rachael Antone, who meets the needs of her patients virtually as a Family Nurse Practitioner, while often yearning to be even more in the frontlines. But for her, “in the midst of COVID-19, the mission stays the same: follow Christ.”
Charles Bridges, a pastor from England during the 1800s, said that close proximity to the sick teaches lessons that could never be learned from the study. In the study, the “importance of the Gospel may be described or contemplated” – with the sick, “it is realized.” In the study, we imagine “the nearness and prospects of eternity, the power of Satan, the grace and love of the Savior” – with the sick, “the scenes are before the eye.” These healthcare workers have realized it. They have seen it before their eyes. They have all taken hold of the reality that eternity is at hand, and that the light in them is made for darkness. When realizations of life’s fragility cast over the minds of their surrounding workplaces, these healthcare workers herald the one true Hope that ultimately defeats death.
Therefore, pray for them. Pray for their protection, for their endurance, and for God to continue to use them so that souls may be added daily through their work.