‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ John 15:13.
The Church Times of 27 March had an article on the virus in Northern Italy, and included this piece: ‘Father Guiseppe Berardelli, in Casnigo, a small village north-east of Milan, died after donating his respirator, brought to him by his parishioners, to a younger coronavirus patient’. (p6)
Around the world, people are making incredible choices between life and death, and there is an increasing number of doctors and nurses dying as a result of contracting the virus from those they are treating. It is a big ask for someone to give his life for his friend, how much greater for people you do not know?
Our prayers do much to sustain those who are called to make difficult decisions and acts of sacrifice. Sometimes, with so many prayer requests, it is difficult not to feel overwhelmed by it all. It’s ok to cry and its ok to feel depleted. Hymns are a source of comfort and inspiration to me, and often provide the words I need, and I share this one with you, from a Sarum Primer d1558:
‘God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking.’
Loving God, thank you for those prepared to make such sacrifices, and keep me faithful in my prayers for them.