With both my children out of state visiting family and friends, this year was a nontraditional Christmas for me, to say the least. So on Christmas day, I visited my 91 year old dad in his new home, a dementia care facility near Lenox Square in Atlanta. What struck me most upon arrival was the joy expressed by all the workers, especially the nurses and the kitchen crew. The delightful waiter that served us lunch was from the island of Samoa. He brought us a delicious honey baked ham lunch, and served with a smile on his face. We learned a little of his story: this courteous, intelligent man was a doctor on the island but did not have the proper certification to be practicing medicine here in the States, so here he was, serving elderly people in need. After lunch, Dana, the nurse helped direct my dad back to his room...with a smile on her face. She had a hearty laugh, as well as clearly a special relationship with my dad.
After lunch, Dad began to experience more pain in his knee from a fall he had sustained earlier in December. So I took him to the emergency room. Upon our arrival at Northside, the hospital administrator checked us in...with a smile on her face. We were then directed to a room, where my dad was given professional care by nurses and then a doctor, who all were there serving... on Christmas day...with smiles on their faces.
It suddenly struck me that here folks were serving others in need on a day when most people are relaxing and hanging out with family. And every one of them, most of whom make a very modest salary, was serving with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. Spending eight hours on Christmas day split between a hospital emergency room and a senior living facility was not on my "bucket list," but encountering new friends who joyfully were doing God's work filled me with tremendous gratitude.
We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another. -Lucretius
Keep being concerned about each other as the Lord's followers should. Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it. Remember the Lord's people who are in jail and be concerned for them. Don't forget those who are suffering, but imagine that you are there with them. -Hebrews 13:1-3
Prayer for Today
O God, we are grateful for those in our midst who have sometimes thankless jobs, but who still do their work of serving people in need with a smile on their faces. Bless them, O God. Amen.