Reflections of Hope is a 50 day devotional written for the long term care community. Having had the wonderful privilege of serving as a nursing home chaplain, I have learned much about hope from the residents, staff and families. If the reality of long term care is a part your life this book is specially written for you. This edition has been updated and includes several new devotional readings and an introduction touching on the realities of the novel Corona virus outbreak. My prayer is that this small book may be a place of hope and calm in the midst of the storm for you.
I was sick and you visited me…Matthew 25
Being in the grip of public health emergency it is important to know how we as volunteers can help. Our first order of business is not to panic. Our precious friends in long term care already are dealing with serious personal medical situations as well as depression and loneliness. We need to find out what we can do to lift their load.
Secondly we need to face the Corona virus not as some mysterious plague but as another in a yearly cycle of serious diseases. Use common sense. Follow the directives of the facilities you are visiting. I go 3-4 times a week into different homes to sing. Each time I shower and change first then still use the hand sanitizer at the door as I sign in. I use another sanitizer between wards and then again on the way out the door. Once home I wash with warm soap and water. If all this sounds like a lot of trouble remember that sickness can be whole a lot more trouble than soap!
Last of all we need to not only pray but also be creative and upbeat. Keep in touch by text with staff or other volunteers who are out sick. A phone call or even a card can do as much as any medicine in the face of discouragement. We are serving on the front lines of both a medical as well as a spiritual battle. We must keep our heads about us and trust the Lord. He has sent us to bring a message of hope and life and this is the time to buckle up and be ready for anything. He has promised to be with us and He just might want to use you to remind someone else of that today!
The entry of the Corona virus into a nursing home in Washington state is a frightening development for which we need earnest prayers. As I was out singing this week at long term care facilities I paused to look at the faces. These precious but fragile brothers and sisters as well as the health care workers stand at the edge of a cliff. All the talk about not worrying because only old and sick folks are seriously at risk misses the emotional impact of the hearts of those of us who love them.
Please consider setting aside time each night to go beyond blessing the food and asking for a good night’s sleep and ask for God’s help, protection and wisdom for our long term care community.