Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night,
and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary,
bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted,
shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
May we be aware of allwho journey through these nightsworking, watching and weeping. For the caregivers, the doctors, the nurses and the chaplains who stand by the bed of those who are struggling to live – breath by breath. For the loved ones, the parents, the children, the neighbors and the prayerful who must stand outside the doorway – concerned and scared.
May we offer our strength and hope to these people who rise to their sentinel call as the sun sets. From the top of a lighthouse to the rail of a bridge, these are the people who focus in the dark to comfort and protect those suffering and weary.
May we pray for the arrival of relief. Relief in the form of healing, in the joy of reunions and in the return of peace and comfort around home’s hearth.
Prayer found in Episcopal Book of Common Prayer
Photo: Wendy Claire Barrie
Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.
We keep looking for a home though each of us is a home. And no matter where we run, we land before each other, thoroughly exposed. This is the purpose of gravity—to wear us down till we realize we are each other. Though we think we’re alone, we all meet here. Though we start out trying to climb over each other, we wind up asking to be held. It just takes some of us longer to land here than others. Once worn of our pretense, it’s hard to tolerate arrogance. Once humbled, it’s hard to withstand a litany of “me.” Once burning off the atmosphere of self-interest, there’s a tenderness that never goes away. This tenderness is the sonar by which we sense the interior of life. This tenderness is the impulse that frees us. For anything is possible when we let the heart be our skin. The point is to feel whatever comes our way, not conclude it out of its aliveness. The unnerving blessing about being alive is that it can change us forever. I keep discovering that everyone is lovable, magnificent, and flawed.
—Mark Nepo, from Things That Join the Sea and the Sky
Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.
I send this out tonight in gratitude for the caregivers among us, some visible to the eye and some who remain unseen and unknown. Through their hands our Love is extended in times when we cannot be present.
So many people have experienced this surrender of care, as we live in the time of invisible viruses. Throughout this country and around the world people are depending on the compassion and acute attention of caregivers. We remain separated yet those who attend to our loved ones are the bridge between us, the connection that binds us together.
May they know our respect and gratitude in this most unusual time — and always. May they be protected, while enveloped in the mist of this sickness. May we continue to find ways to honor their work in our thoughts and our deeds.