When COVID hit NYC, hospital workers tirelessly battled a virus they had never met before. Medical staff did all they could to care for crowds of patients who overwhelmed their capacity. At Bellevue Hospital, social workers and chaplains watched the stress levels of doctors and nurses skyrocket. Seeing no light at the end of this tunnel, social work and chaplaincy offices shifted some focus from patient to staff care. They started “Helping Healers Heal,” and began making wellness rounds. When personnel describe feelings of powerlessness, exhaustion, and fear, those listening confirm that they are describing trauma. The staff often resists this diagnosis. Their concern stays focused on their patients; they don’t have time for themselves. Still, as social workers and chaplains name what staff have been able to accomplish despite impossible challenges, they create moments of healing.
God’s way is different from our own. God is with us, especially when we don’t know what to do or when we’re scared. Like a hospital social worker in the worst of a pandemic, God breaks through our pain and trauma to see us and speak affirmation to us. We’re rushing, we’re making, we’re doing. But God is bigger. God cares most about who we are and how we are.
In the beginning, before we accomplish anything, God names each of us “good.” And while God made us creative, full of potential, God also made rest holy. Whatever we do for a living, when we rest, we are better able to hear that God never stopped naming us “good.” God is at work even in our resting, doing more than we could ever do ourselves. We can trust that the Creator has us and is making us new.
When do you believe you are what you produce? Set that productive part of you down to spend a few moments in silence. Can you hear God naming you “good”?
God, help me trust that your work includes a rhythm of rest. Amen.