At change of shift one morning, the night chaplain informed me that the sister of a dying patient requested for me specifically to visit; she remembered me from when I supported her through the death of her mother. Upon reuniting with this woman, I had the opportunity to listen to stories about her relationship with her brother as well as reminisce about the time with her mother. At one point in our conversation, she spoke about the impact of my ministry, explaining that she only carries two business cards with her—one being mine that she received nine years ago!
This encounter emphasized to me the long-lasting impact that a single individual’s actions can have upon another. A smile, a “hello,” and a touch on the arm are all examples of simple acts of service which we can provide to others.
Mother Theresa is a modern-day example of what it means to live in servanthood, and she best described it by stating: “At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, [and] how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was naked, and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.’”
No matter how complex or simple, what matters is the difference we make in their lives. Unlike the encounter I had, though, we may not always be recognized for our efforts; what is most important, though, is the generous heart and attitude that we display before God to those whom we serve (Matthew 6:1-6; John 13:4-5).
Lord, in our ministry of serving others, give each of us Your heart, mind, and attitude in responding to the various needs all around us. In Your name, Amen.