A blessing to our alumni, in any of their capacities, during a pandemic


 To those who serve
In hospitals, in doctors’ offices
In patients’ rooms, rest homes, emergency rooms, quarantine
Carrying clipboards, stethoscopes, protective equipment; burdens
Reaching out, pulling close; pushing away, distancing—
When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. They held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady. – Exodus 17:12
That you will have help to uplift you, and a rock on which to rest.

To those who support
In grocery stores, in pharmacies
Delivering supplies and materials; delivering sustenance and hope
Whose own routines have become, for others, lifelines
Only lightly thanked, though relied upon heavily—
Then the LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” – 1 Samuel 3:10
That your health and strength is preserved, and that your work
reaches beyond those you serve.

To those who research
In laboratories, in clinics, in libraries
Working in front of microscopes, patients; working behind masks,
gloves; working through exposure, exhaustion
Seeking to advance knowledge, eager to extend life
Wholly serving through mind, hands, and heart—
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of God’s hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. – Psalm 19:1-2
That your research is an act of love, yielding progress, hope, and life.

To those afflicted
With loneliness, worry, frustration, fear; with disease
At home—with family; at home—alone; at work, at rest, in recovery
Living and dying through what is known and what remains unknown
Facing shortages, facing uncertainty, facing loved ones, facing fears—
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
That you will face your afflictions strengthened by a hope that fills
you with peace, and a peace that transcends understanding.

Words by Paul Bylsma ’09
March 2020

Artwork by Paula Manni, Class of 2013, Calvin University

Download To Those by Paula Manni ’13

Download A Blessing to Our Alumni by Paul Bylsma ’09