Blog from Kristy Engel . . .

“He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped.”


I recently read the above verse in a devotional, and it made me stop and think. First, I thought

about what it would mean to stand between the living and the dead. Then I thought, “I wonder

how many people have felt like they are standing between the living and the dead since the

pandemic began in 2020?”


As most of you probably know, I work in the area of global health. I’ve been knee-deep in the

pandemic since early January of 2020, and I continue to sift through information as well as

advise organizations and the health care partners I work with around the world. It’s safe to say

that most of my current work revolves around COVID-19 and the impact it has on the many

communities I’ve visited over the last 20+ years.


Throughout the last two years, I have often listened to colleagues as they cry or lament over

the loss that this pandemic has produced. I have ached to take away their pain or “stand

between” them and those they serve. The news continues to discuss the burnout rate of health

care workers and I can attest that this is true. If you have not been praying for our health care

workers, please begin. They desperately need your support and encouragement that prayer can



In the passage above, Aaron and Moses are trying to protect the people of Israel from God’s

anger. Repeatedly, the community kept rebelling against God so that eventually, God sent a

plague to kill those who were speaking out against Moses and Aaron and continuing to live a

rebellious life. Yet, Moses wanted to save the people of Israel and asked Aaron to “stand

between” the people and God’s plague. He was pleading with God, through offered sacrifice,

that God would not kill all the people. Aaron physically stood amid the people, with incense,

and asked for mercy, despite their rebellion.


How often have you chosen to plead for others? Or have you chosen to simply let people

receive what they deserve? These verses show me that our prayers matter. Our words and

actions in the support of others are heard by God. It also reminds me that none of us really get

what we deserve. God, through Jesus, offers mercy, compassion, and salvation. And, as our

example for life, Jesus shows us how we should engage with others around us. We, too, should

show love, mercy, and compassion, and point people to Jesus through our behavior.

We can stand up for others. We can make a difference by what we say and do. Never assume

that your words and actions have no influence. Simply choose to reflect the love of Jesus and

let God decide how to use your actions.