When I went to my local hardware store the other day, a hand-written sign on the entrance door announced, “We’re sold out of masks. Sorry for the inconvenience.” As I checked out with my item, the store manager said that customers had bought out the masks for fear of the coronavirus. Now, construction workers or self-employed handy persons came needing masks for their work, not able to find them anywhere. She didn’t expect to have a new supply for a few months.
Along with a new virus, anxiety is spreading. In this uncertain time, the important role we in health ministry play comes to the fore. In two areas, we help address the uncertainty and anxiety.
First, we endeavor to find and share the most reliable information about the virus and how to avoid spreading or contracting it. Those thin masks people bought out of the hardware store, for example, likely aren’t helpful in keeping any virus out. Complete, frequent hand-washing and not touching our faces and covering nose and mouth with the crook of our elbow or a handkerchief when sneezing or coughing are among helpful, healthful practices at any time.
We refer ourselves and those we serve to such dependable sources as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or state public health departments.
Secondly, we in health ministry draw on a deeper source—faith. We remind ourselves and those we serve that God is with us always, including anxious times such as this. In faith that we are not alone, that a vibrant Source enlivens us each day, that we are held in a loving Heart—in faith we bring our strongest, clearest selves to face uncertain times with clarity and wisdom. So we offer peace to people and call them to draw on their faith.
Reliable information and a foundation of faith—this is the unique, vital role we bring to each other, to those we serve, and to our communities. Carry on in faith, friends!
Rev. Karen MacDonald, M.Div.
President, Health Ministries Association