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“Do the Lord’s work.”

As a kid, I heard this phrase nearly every morning. After the bustle of breakfast, and lunch packing, and teeth brushing my brother and I would say bye to our mom before our dad took us to school. Before my mom went to work, my dad would kiss her goodbye and softly remind her, “do the Lord’s work.” At the time, I never thought much of this phrase and didn’t realize that one day it would be relevant for me.

Growing up, my mom worked as a nurse at our local hospital so I am no stranger to the healthcare system. However, until 4 months ago I never imagined I would enter that world. In December, I started working at Rhode Island Hospital in the Food and Nutrition department as a room service host. Throughout the entirety of the hiring process my supervisors reiterated that in this position I would be considered essential personnel. At that time I figured this term meant nothing more than coming to work regardless of potential inclement weather conditions. I never in a million imagined it would mean working through a pandemic.

Currently I have been working in Hasbro Children’s Hospital where I take dinner orders and bring the patients their food trays. Although I am not the doctor, or the nurse, food and nutrition is an integral part of any healing process and I am grateful I can contribute to that, even in a small way. My job itself has not changed much, however the hospital atmosphere is drastically different. With visitor restrictions the halls are empty, constant protocol changes create tension in every department, and across the board, hospital workers are existing in a state of stress.

This is obviously a particularly challenging time for every person whether you are working or not. Through the chaos I have relied on prayer, specifically the Serenity Prayer, reminding myself that ultimately I do not have control. I have to put my trust in God, and accept that I cannot change these circumstances, but I can do my best to adapt to them. Each day before my shift I take a deep breath, put on my mask, my apron, and hear my dad’s voice in the back of my head saying “do the Lord’s work.” While not everyone is going to a physical place of employment we are all doing work in some way. Working remotely, doing school work, cooking for your family, delivering groceries to an elderly relative, and even praying for peace and healing are all ways we work during this time. I pray that each of us stay safe, stay healthy, and continue to “do the Lord’s work” in whatever way we are able.

Hannah Bowen is a Sophomore at JWU concentrating in Dietetics and Applied Nutrition and sent us this post from Providence, RI.

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