As Christmas approaches and the end of 2020 draws near, I think we will all be having a mixture of thoughts, especially those of us working in the world of healthcare. It has certainly been a challenging year, one unlike any I have ever known. Living through a Pandemic has changed us; it has turned lives upside down, generated a whole new vocabulary, sparked a huge range of emotions, and is likely to be etched on our memories forever.
I have recently heard a phrase used a few times which sparked my interest: “The virus won’t stop for Christmas!” quipped a couple of people I know. Very true, I thought, and particularly pertinent this year. However, it has always been true that viruses don’t stop for Christmas and broadly speaking, neither does the need for healthcare.
I distinctly remember the year I started work as a junior hospital doctor, working what was termed a ‘1 in 3 rota’. This meant that in addition to my standard working hours of 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, I also worked on average every third evening and night, and every third weekend from Friday evening until Monday morning. They were long, long hours of emergency on-call work.
On that particular year, Christmas fell on a Saturday, and the rota meant that I would work through the whole of that weekend from the Friday morning to the Monday morning (thankfully getting the rest of Monday off as a bank holiday.) As I arrived in the hospital on the Friday, Christmas Eve, a long weekend stretched in front of me, and I was not sure what to expect. All I can say is that I was overwhelmed by how the staff endeavoured to create such a wonderful atmosphere for the patients, their families, and also for themselves to enjoy Christmas in the best way possible under the circumstances. I joined in happily, and I believe I played my part in providing excellent care and creating a festive atmosphere. It was a privilege to participate, but it did come at a cost to myself and my family.
So I want to thank all of you for helping to provide healthcare to our nation during this tumultuous and challenging year. I want to extend a special thank you to those of you who will continue to work over the Christmas and New Year period, and for the sacrifice undoubtedly involved in caring for people in their homes, in hospitals and in residential care. You are all heroes.
I also want to thank Jesus, the ultimate Christmas sacrifice, for giving us eternal life, Father God for his enduring love, and Holy Spirit for the reality of His presence with us every day.
“I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
or a bride with her jewels.
The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
with plants springing up everywhere.” Isaiah 61:10-11
I hope that Christmas passes well for you and your loved ones, and we look forward to 2021 with the hope and expectation that spring will inevitably follow winter. We already have exciting plans for Heaven in Healthcare which we will share with you soon, and we hope to see you in person before too long.
With love and appreciation to you all,
from Pete Carter
and the Heaven in Healthcare Team