By Your Side
by jeff porro
When Pastor Teer asked me to write a digital devotional, my first thought was to turn him down. I have to admit that the pandemic has left me feeling very gloomy and angry. Gloomy about all the livelihoods damaged, lives dramatically disrupted, and loved ones lost; angry about the failures of our national leaders to do enough to help those who risk all and sacrifice so much.
In short, while my faith teaches me that Christ is always here with us, I hadn’t been feeling His presence in ways that made me want to talk about it.
But then I decided to sit back, take a deep breath and let Pastor Teer’s request percolate through me. Two images emerged: one personal, one digital.
The other day, Stacy and walking on our street, and we came across two neighbors talking. (We maintained social distance, of course.) One of the women, Sandy, is a nurse at our local pediatrician’s office. She had been out trying to scrounge wipes and other cleaning materials from friends and neighbors for the practice as there were none available commercially. The other woman, Gail, had some to give her. While we stood there, Sandy talked very matter-of-factly about how hard the doctors and staff were working, about the difficult decisions they had to make each day, how they were struggling to get supplies.
Something about the scene – neighbors helping neighbors, a mom calmly putting herself on the front lines, made me feel Jesus’ presence.
The other image was from Facebook, and is one you’ve probably seen, too. It was posted by evangelical friends of ours: A family we love, but with whom we disagree about most things political and theological. It was a drawing of nurses and doctors treating a COVID patient. And at one nurse’s side was Christ.
Simple, maybe even corny. But that image helped me realize that the risen Lord is among us. I could feel Him with the healers and the comforters who are exhausting themselves and risking all for their patients, and for every one of us.
- Jeff Porro