Cross and Anchors statue in foreground with snow covered campus

December 11, 2021

Saturday of the Second Week of Advent
By Jaclyn Beck, PA-C '16

 

It was the height of the Covid 19 pandemic and I found myself with gown, gloves and mask in the middle of a Covid ICU unit. "What am I doing here Lord?" My heart cried, as it was quite a stretch from my usual routine doing surgery in the operating room; a safe, sterile place which seemed spared from the chaos of the virus pandemonium. In the ICU, however, patient after patient was ventilator dependent, their lungs losing the battle to an invisible enemy we were unsure how to fight back against.

Losing faith as all of my medical training and experience failed to produce any positive results, I found myself entering the ward once again early on a Sunday morning for yet another long shift. But today was different. A coworker had on the Christian radio station and there was a palpable change on the unit; a hope that had diminished was restored as the promises of God echoed down the halls and colleagues sang along. It was then that I realized I wasn't only there to heal sick bodies and lungs, but to also help prepare the hearts of those who may soon meet the Lord. I was given the opportunity to witness to people at their most vulnerable state, and began presenting the Gospel to patients while they still had breath in their lungs to receive it. It took a colleague bold enough in her faith to play Christian music publicly to help me realize my true calling on that unit, realizing then that I had access that was denied to priests, pastors, and even immediate family.

My favorite moment serving as a physician assistant in critical care during the pandemic occurred when we ceased doing CPR on a patient and held hands as a healthcare team around the patient, praying together, understanding that only Jesus Christ can truly save and knowing the power of the Lord and His promise of Salvation to those who believe.

I encourage you today to be bold enough in your faith to light the spark that sets the fire in your own community.

To read today's readings and all readings this Advent Season, please visit https://bible.usccb.org/.