Hello, front line worker. May I have a word with you? Hello, doctor, nurse, med-tech, and assistant. Any chance that I could get your attention for just a few minutes? I’ll be brief. I promise. It’s not that I don’t have time, I’ve got plenty. Thanks to you. You are the one with no margin. You are the one with no sleep. You are the one who spent Christmas making the rounds and New Year’s Eve admitting patients. You are the one who deserves a medal, a parade, a six-month vacation in the tropics.
But that’s not coming, is it? Another surge, that’s what is coming. They say January is going to be the worst month yet. They are telling folks like me to stay home. I bet you wish someone would tell you to stay home. They don’t. They won’t. Hospitals are overrun. Staffs are overworked. Budgets are overspent. And my thanks, our thanks to you is overdue.
So here it is—from my heart to yours, from our hearts to yours, thank you.
I heard one of you express sadness. In an interview, you regretted that you hadn’t done more. You choked back tears, swallowed a lump, and lamented that so many people had died from COVID on your watch. Oh, dear friend. I wanted to climb inside the tv screen and hug the regret right out of you. Please hear me. You have nothing for which to be sorry. You’ve done good. Really good. In fact, you are the heroes. Society has gone whacky. Politicians have been tacky. And you? You’ve gone twelve rounds with a heavyweight virus the likes of which we’ve never seen. Yet you keep throwing punches. Knocked down? Yes, but back up on your feet? Always. You keep climbing into the ring.
How many bodies have you loaded onto gurneys? How many times have you held phones near the ear of the sick? How many times have you held the hand of the dying because you couldn’t bear the thought of someone dying alone? How many times have you collapsed into your bed in desperate need of sleep, but utterly unable to sleep because of the images in your mind?
How many tests have you administered? Masks have you worn? ER vehicles have you driven? Wheelchairs have you pushed? Trays of food have you filled? Hospital floors have you mopped? Life or death decisions have you made?
You have no way of knowing, do you? It’s all a blur. You don’t know. But God does. One of my favorite Bible verses is tucked away in a beautiful book called Hebrews. In it the writer encourages his readers by saying: “God is fair; he will not forget the work you did and the love you showed for him by helping his people. And he will remember that you are still helping them.” (Hebrews 6:10 NCV)
God will not forget the work you did. You will. You don’t have the luxury or desire to keep a list of your good deeds. But God does. And God will. He will not forget the work you did. Why? Because by helping them, you are loving Him. And your heavenly Father is taking note.
We are, too. We are so proud of you. We need you. This is your hour. This is your Esther moment. Remember her story? She was the Queen of Persia in a time that her people, the Jews, were under attack. Her uncle begged her to talk to the king.
“Who knows,” he asked “if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 NLT)
Who knows, dear friend, but that you have been placed right where you are for such a time as this?
As the numbers spike, yet again. As the patients outnumber the beds, yet again. As the demands outstrip the resources, yet again…please know that there is a pastor in Texas who is pulling for you, praying for you, thankful for you. I have a feeling that I speak for millions of others when I say, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
© Max Lucado