When I was a student, I spent two summers in Jasper, Alberta, Canada, working in service jobs, as many students still do, earning money for the next university semester. Many mountains encircle Jasper, one being Mount Edith Cavell, its sharp face silhouetted against the clear western skies. It is beautiful, snow-capped, and surrounded by alpine meadows and dark forests. It was named after a medical professional whose devotion to duty and faith speak much to those who serve selflessly during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Edith Cavell was a British nurse, born in Norwich in 1865, and served in a Red Cross hospital in occupied Belgium during World War I. A devoted Christian, she instructed her nurses that "any wounded must be treated, friend or foe. … Each man is a father, husband, or son. As nurses, you must take no part in the quarrel." However, she successfully hid and aided over 200 trapped French and Belgian soldiers to escape to neutral Holland. Arrested as a spy, she was court-martialled and executed by firing squad in October 1915. When she was told on the eve of her death that she would be remembered as a heroine and martyr, she said, "Think of me as a nurse who tried to do her duty. I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."
Her courage and humility echo that of Jesus.
1 Peter 2:23 – When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (ESV)
Do you know a medical professional who shows the same courage and love of people that Edith Cavell had? Pray for the nurses, doctors, technicians, paramedics, and cafeteria and cleaning staff who are working so diligently to stop the rampage of the pandemic at the risk of their own lives. Pray for their families and all who support them in the battle. We owe much to them.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for Your mercy and strength for all health and medical professionals and support staff, who stand between Your people and the pandemic virus. Protect and nourish them as they heal and care for our nation and all peoples. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Simply Trusting" (Lyrics)