Those were life saving words for a man from Cincinnati who was dying alone in a hospital. His family couldn't visit him because he had Covid-19. The nurses who cared for him were his source of hope and strength. And one was so compassionate and inspiring he had to thank her. But her mask and shield had concealed her identity. When he recovered, the man searched until he found the nurse and thanked her for her healing words and her relentless support. He believed what she said and refused to give up.
When I saw this news story this weekend, it reminded me of a Gospel scene. A Roman centurion approaches Jesus searching for a cure. His servant is on his deathbed and the Roman knows that Jesus is a miracle worker. In fact, he's so confident in the rabbi's curative powers he said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed." And Jesus was blown away by the man's faith in him. Especially since he wasn't a Jew.
Anyone who has had a whiff of death or suffered brutal pain and illness understands the incalculable value of a great doctor. In fact, if you've requested a second opinion and your physician is proven right, you have felt powerful peace of mind.
People fighting terminal illness trust their physicians to predict life expectancy and prescribe experimental trials. And for surgical patients, nurses irrigate and dress open wounds while pressing doctors to adjust therapies.
We take them at their healing words. The laying on of hands is comforting. But the merciful messages lift hearts and ignite the spirit to fight and live.
During this global pandemic, so many are risking their lives to save others. Physicians; nurses; pharmacists; radiologists; emergency medical technicians; respiratory therapists, certified nursing assistants, lab technologists, phlebotomists; housekeepers; medical supply specialists, and on and on.
In honor of their profound sacrifice and acts of mercy, the least we can do is to do what they ask: keep our distance, wear our masks and wash our hands. In turn, those steps may just save one or more of these unselfish healers.
By the way, Jesus sent the centurion home with the promise that his request for healing would be met. When the Roman solider arrived at his servant's side, he found him well. He had recovered at the hour that Jesus said the word.
The centurion believed what the divine physician said.