Responding First to First Responders

April 17, 2020  |  Redemption AZ

by Sean Warren, Pastor of Redemption Communities + Guest Services

“Keifer, if you were in a house and it was burning down… I would run and and save you. If a car was driving toward you and you didn’t see it… I would run and push you out of the way. If a dog was about to bite you… I would jump in front of the dog and let him bite me instead.”

This might sound silly, but I can remember telling this to my son over and over when he was little. I wanted him to know a few things in this simple exchange.

1. He had a dad who loved and looked out for him.

2. He had a dad who was willing to sacrifice himself on his behalf.

3. Love is more than a word, it is action.

I would like to think I would be that kind of guy…it is at best aspirational until tested. Most of us have not had to think about these things, or make decisions with such gravity, at least not often. But there is a caliber of people who do, all the time. We call them first responders. 

I was reminded of this on Good Friday when I was pummeled with a kidney stone that brought this guy down to his knees. I was in the car when the episode happened, I hit the gas, and in minutes was in one of our fine medical establishments here in the valley (which is such a blessing in a world where 1 hospital is hard to find for a lot of folks).

Because of Covid-19, I found myself making my way thought a more elaborate entrance into the hospital. I was stopped and asked about my symptoms, as medical professionals scurried around to would-be patients. Once back in the ER the kind doctor ordered up a kidney stone cocktail for me that wouldn’t fail, well, after a second helping. But my kidney stone isn’t the subject at hand, its the people at the hospital.

After a bit of time for the pharmaceuticals to kick in, I found myself in a conversation with my nurse. I asked her how all of this virus thing was impacting her.

With reluctant somberness she said,

“It really does stress me out a lot. I have an older mother living in my house and I have this fear that I’m going to bring this home to her.”

She went on to talk about some of the exceptionally irresponsible people right now, and how it drives her crazy. “Just do your part” was her refrain. 

As I was being released out of the hospital I couldn’t help but have the feeling of “Just get me out of this place?” Not because of the staff, but because of the larger narrative of the virus impacting so many around the States.

While being driven away I thought of the potential anxiety I would be under living with the reality that It might be my number next. Or worse, that I would give it to a loved one.

It was in this moment that my respect grew even more for our First Responders. I thought of a couple of take away from this moment.

1. If you know a first responder, reach out to them and ask them how they are handling all of this. If you know their spouse, reach out to them as well.

2. Include them into your daily prayers, because they truly are on the front lines of all of this.

3. Actively look for ways to bless them, and their families. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Jesus to them. 

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13