“Conversations Are Desperate” (Women’s Health and COVID-19)

Talitha Phillips of LA's Claris Health shares how COVID-19 is re-shaping their efforts to bring clarity to difficult reproductive and family health questions.
In this episode…
  • Talitha Phillips has served as the CEO of Claris Health since 2001, transitioning it from a small counseling center to a licensed community care clinic to a multi-site agency with a mobile medical unit, as well. Before joining the Claris team, she was a Claris client, experiencing the agency's impact of the agency first-hand. She is also a labor and postpartum doula.

  • Rick Barry is Executive Director of Center for Christian Civics, where he helps ministry leaders and faith communities develop missional approaches to their local public squares. He has worked on campaigns for local, state and federal office, is a former writer and editor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and oversaw communications for the Grace DC church network. He and his wife live in Washington, DC.

 

  • Introduction (00:30)
  • Interview (01:55)
  • Prayer (17:38)

Our guest this episode is Talitha Phillips, CEO of Claris Health, a women’s and reproductive health clinic with multiple locations in Los Angeles, California. Talitha shares how the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the difficulty of providing social services and medical care to a vulnerable community—and what it’s like to try to do this work out of her bathroom instead of out of her office.

REFLECTION

If you are living in a region that has issued stay-at-home orders, spend some time today prayerfully reflecting on one thing that has made following that order easier for you. Then spend some time with others—ideally the people you usually pray with most often—asking God to show you how to care for people who may not have that thing available to them during this pandemic.

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Prayer

Heavenly Father,

You are the great physician; the healer of mind, body, and spirit; the great creator of life; our strong shelter and our bulwark against danger; and you are the ultimate restorer of things that have degraded.

As the number of infections and the number of deaths due to due to the coronavirus continue to climb throughout the country and throughout the world, we pray for the healthcare workers who are working to tend to the sick and stop the spread. Thank you for the ways in which their work reflects the fact that they are made in the image of a God who was not content to let the world suffer under sickness and death, a God who was not content to just offer palliative care while sin eroded the fabric of reality. 

Instead, you entered the world alongside the broken and the dying. You made yourself vulnerable to death—even death on a cross!—so that we could receive not just comfort, but a cure. 

The courage healthcare workers are showing right now, especially healthcare workers who already have underlying medical conditions, is a reflection of you. Speak that truth to their hearts. Give them the encouragement of knowing that their fight against this disease has meaning and that it connects them in a deep way to the most glorious aspects of what it means to be human. Encourage them to run this race and help them finish it closer to your Son than they were when they started. 

We pray especially today for the team at Claris Health and for similar teams throughout the country. COVID-19 is urgent, but other needs didn’t disappear to make room for this pandemic. We pray for every patient who feels forgotten, for every doctor and caseworker who suddenly finds their hands tied, unable to reach out in the ways that their patients and clients had come to rely on up until even a week ago.

We pray for their safety, for the safety of the doctors who are interacting with the sick, for the safety of the caseworkers who are finding ways to interact with the potentially infected, and for the safety of the patients and the clients who find themselves trapped in dangerous situations because of the shelter-in-place orders. 

Our hearts break to hear that the catchphrase “Safer At Home” is just untrue for so many people. Protect them now, protect them tomorrow, and rescue them. Please. 

We pray these things in the name of your Son, whose very name—a name that your divine messenger declared on your behalf to tell us what you intend to do through him—is “Rescue.”

Amen.

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