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I serve food

“Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth…” Matthew 5: 5

I have listened to so many people who have lost the meaning of their work.  Employment has become task-driven, and the bigger picture of purpose has become obscure.  Even people in powerful positions seem to have no clue at the influence that has been entrusted to them. 

This is certainly true in all professions and is too often seen in healthcare. The staff can grow tired and weary getting through the grind of each day. It’s easy to spiral into thoughts such as “What is the use?”  “What is my purpose?” “How on earth can I make a difference?”

Meet Amy (not her real name).  She is just short of being a full 5 feet tall.  With glistening, cheerful, darting eyes and a delightful personality, she sat in front of me in the chapel.  I knew by her uniform she worked in the dietary department. We began a conversation regarding her job responsibilities.   “So, you work in the dietary department?” Calmly and soulfully, she looked at me and said, “I deliver meal trays. I serve food.  By serving food, people can  live longer. And, the longer they live, the greater the chance they have to know God.”

I knew I was looking at a powerful servant of The Lord.  This young girl was blessed beyond her years.  Oh, if only those in authority, directorship and leadership could grasp the meaning of the truth that this young woman understood.

I passed a patient’s room that afternoon and had the opportunity to see and to hear Amy on the job.   Talking to an elderly woman who seemed to be having trouble understanding, I heard Amy slowly, kindly and with great compassion repeat, “Would you like to have a baked potato, or would you rather have some green beans?  How about bread?  Would you like to have some bread? And how about a salad?” With the patience of Job, she was clearly fulfilling her purpose on this earth.

If only each of us in all of our different positions could understand the magnitude of the lesson taught by a small, quiet young woman working in the dietary department of a hospital.  Let it be so Lord.  Give us that wisdom.  “For the last shall be first and the first shall be last…” Matthew 20:16

“Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in ….” Matthew 25: 34-45

Pat Farrell is a CEP life coach and certified lay minister for the Wytheville District United Methodist Church She can be reached at pat@patfarrellcoach.com or 276-223-8210.

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