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First Response: Pray

A friend recently showed me this photo by artist Dona Gelsinger and I am instantly in love with her work (see more at

This painting touched me as my team of therapists work closely with first responders who are in the battle to beat Covid-19.

The Bible often tells of times when Jesus would withdraw to pray to his father in heaven. Prayer does more than just communicate one's needs. It can offer counsel if you listen, it can offer answers if you ask, and it can offer peace if you will receive it. Prayer is not like rubbing Aladden's lamp and you don't get three wishes. Prayer is your heart connecting to God's heart.

Sometimes prayer is the best weapon against any challenge. Sometimes it's the only weapon. Not all challenges have positive outcomes. People affected by the Covid-19 get sick and some even die. The nurses and doctors do their best and sometimes their best is not good enough. This can cause grief, pain, and depression to first responders who feel helpless.

When I worked in law enforcement I remember transporting a non-breathing newborn to the hospital. I grabbed the baby and sat in the back seat of the police car while my partner drove. I gave the baby CPR while trying to remain stead as we sped through the streets. I literally poured my heart and soul into that child and when the baby later died at the hospital, I cried for hours. To this day I cannot think of that baby without tears welling up in my eyes. Sadly, I had many similar experiences during the year when SID's (Sudden Infant Death) was the COVID-19 of that time. Daily I would pray that I would not lose another little one as I raced to the next call for assistance for a baby who was not breathing.

Today, for the first responder who is suffering under the weight of loss, take heart. Focus on the lives you have saved, the faces of those who returned home to their families. One thing that brings me comfort is to consider that God knows everything and he says he will save us from things that are unbearable. I consider that maybe Jesus rescued those babies from homes with abusive parents. Or maybe there was a future of struggle that would be more than the baby could bare. Knowing that my God is a loving God who cares for the young gives my heart hope knowing that Jesus saves. Withdraw to a quiet place when you need Jesus and he will be there waiting with arms open wide.

Day 83: Withdraw

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