When I was a student, I spent two summers in Jasper, Alberta, working in service jobs, as many students still do, earning money for the next university semester. Many mountains encircle Jasper, one being Mount Edith Cavell, its sharp face silhouetted against the clear Western skies. It is beautiful, snow-capped and surrounded by alpine meadows and dark forests. It was named after a medical professional, whose devotion to duty and faith speak much to those who serve selflessly during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Edith Cavell was a British nurse, born in Norwich, and served in a Red Cross hospital in occupied Belgium during World War I. A devoted Christian, she instructed her nurses that “any wounded must be treated, friend or foe…..each man is a father, husband or son. As nurses you must take no part in the quarrel”. She however successfully hid and aided the escape of over 200 trapped French and Belgium soldiers, to neutral Holland. Arrested as a spy, she was court-martialled and executed by firing squad in October 1915. When told she would be remembered as a heroine and martyr, on the eve of her death, she said, “Think of me as a nurse who tried to do her duty…..I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone”.
Her courage and humility echoes that of Jesus, in I Peter 2:23, “When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly” (ESV). Do you know a medical professional who shows the same courage and love of people that Edith Cavell had? Pray for the nurses, doctors, technicians, cafeteria and cleaning staff, and paramedics who are working so diligently to stop the rampage of the pandemic, at the risk of their own lives. Pray for their families, and all who support them in the battle. We owe much to them.