EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest post from Kari Rodas, who based in New Orleans – a city which is currently considered one of the COVID-19 hotspots in the U.S. Kari has 10 years of nursing experience, including critical care nursing in the recent past. She currently works in diabetes education and is passionate about health equity in New Orleans and believes health education is a great place to start. Kari also serves on the leadership team of Canal Street Church, where she’s attended with her husband since 2014.
On my way to work, not knowing what to expect as the day unfolded, I was thinking about all the layers of our healthcare workers in all our hospital and clinic systems in our city – administrators making significant decisions, leaders, nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors, chaplains, security personnel, cleaning staff, supply management staff – all the layers of people who are impacted significantly by what has begun to happen, and what will unfold in the coming days.
And I thought of the story in Exodus 17, where Joshua is instructed to fight a battle against the Amalekites. Moses goes up to the hill, with his staff and prays for Joshua, and as long as Moses’ hands are raised, Joshua is winning. In this situation, our healthcare providers are our Joshuas – on the frontlines of this battle against COVID-19. This season is an invitation for us to be like Moses. While you’re going stir crazy at home, whether alone or with all the kids, take this as an invitation to climb this spiritual hill, alone or with your family, to meet God like Moses did – to be in prayer. We need to be like Moses for our health care workers, lifting our hands to God in prayer for them until this battle is won.
Moses’ battle was a long one, just like ours will be, and Moses got tired. But when he lowered his arms, Joshua started losing, and his men started dying. So, the leaders got a large rock for Moses to sit on. When we get tired this season, SIT ON OUR ROCK, WHO IS JESUS CHRIST, and REST.
We will get tired on this journey. Some of us might even fall ill. We will have times of feeling isolated, anxious, angry, grieved, but we do not have to do this alone – we are not doing this alone. As the body of Christ, we are one in spirit, unified. And we are called to hold each other’s hands up in the air until this battle is won, just like when Aaron and Hur came along side Moses and held his arms in the air.
I know for some of us, physically lifting our arms in worship isn’t an easy thing to do. Maybe we haven’t given it much thought and it’s just the way we were raised. Or maybe we think about it but feel resistance and self-consciousness. For some of us, it comes naturally as our hearts center on worship. I would like to challenge us in our homes to lift our hands in worship and prayer together. Three weeks ago we had no problem raising our hands in the air alongside glamorous Mardi Gras floats, trying to catch trinkets as floats named after Greek gods rolled by with kings and queens. Today, during this season of Lent, let us wash our hands, and lift them up to the Lord, our Lord and one true king Jesus Christ – that our prayers may be heard and our Lord may be praised and glorified, even in the midst of a pandemic.
As a family, community group, or zooming with friends, we invite you to read the following Psalms with arms raised. Take a moment between each Psalm to pray for our city – our healthcare workers, our government officials, the people stocking foods and supplies, our families now homeschooling, and everything in between that this pandemic has touched.
1 To you, Lord, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who go down to the pit.
2 Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.
1 I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me;
hear me when I call to you.
2 May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.