Have We Noticed Their Faces?

Have we noticed the faces of the nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists dealing with the COVID-19 situation?

As I watch these overworked professionals interviewed about their experiences on television and other media, I’ve noticed that they represent the variety of cultures and demographics in the United States.  Take notice next time you watch or read the news and notice the faces of those directly dealing with COVID-19 in this country.

They are not all white, my friends. Our hospital staffs throughout the United States look like the world.  Many of our medical professionals are immigrants or first generation Americans – and we would be a poorer nation without them.

(Note: So imagine what are we missing by refusing to welcome new immigrants to our country – but that’s for another post.)

It reminds me of something Eboo Patel wrote about here.

In an American hospital, a Jewish internist may be working with a Baha’i anesthesiologist to treat a Buddhist patient. They may be supported by a Muslim nurse, in a room cleaned by a Baptist custodian, at a hospital started by a Catholic religious order and run by a culturally Hindu CEO who does not believe in God.

If that Buddhist patient approaches the end of her life, it is very likely that the person offering comfort would be a chaplain trained at a mainline Protestant seminary.

COVID-19 has collapsed the lungs of tribalism.

I would like to believe that this is true: that tribalism has been zapped away by this pandemic.  But I sense that many white people still believe that “they don’t see color” and so we miss this great truth:

People of every religion, skin color, and heritage are serving sacrificially in these days of the novel coronavirus.  Have we noticed this?

We are not a “white nation.”  We white people might think we are a white nation and we might not realize the enormous privilege based solely on our pale skin color,  but actually the whole world is blessed because we are not all white.

Have we noticed the faces of the helpers?  They look like the Kingdom/Kindom of God.

The medical professions above were all interviewed in the past week about their work with COVID-19 patients in a variety of venues.  They are – from the top left going clockwise – Dr. Mafuzur Rahman, Dr. Taison Bell, Dr. Lisa Cooper, Dr. Ayman Fanous, Dr. Octavia Pickett Blakely, Dr. Thomas Oxley, Dr. Winston Wong, Dr. Ahmed Hozain, and (in the center) Dr. Althea Maybank.  Also, would someone please give Eboo Patel the Nobel Peace Prize?  And finally, if you live in a rural area that’s predominantly white, read this book.

2 responses to “Have We Noticed Their Faces?

  1. The Rao family thanks you for this meaningful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sally Herlong

    Love this, Jan!


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