I was listening to worship music in the background while I sat on the couch. I glanced at my Bible open next to me as I finished reading my second book this week (the first was The Veil by Blake Healey and this one was Fashioned to Reign by Kris Vallotton). I say to the Lord, "It would be so nice if you would just pay me to sit here all day and let me read stuff about you and look up things in the Bible while surrounded by worship music all day long. What a fun job that would be!" Instead, I have to go get ready for the day, and drive to people's homes and determine which treatment would be best for them as we try to achieve their therapy goals. I am an Occupational Therapist and do contract work for various companies. I schedule my hours according to my kids' schedules. God has blessed me with a flexible jobs that pay well and I am thankful that He has always given me work, but today I was not in the mood to go. I'd much rather open up my next book and stay on the couch hanging out with Jesus. Since I had already scheduled my patients, I needed to go.
As the day progressed I continued my conversation with the Lord. It's an ongoing conversation. I tell Him, "I don't want to go to work." He tells me, "I need you to go." I ask Him, "Please find me a job where I can get paid to read the Bible and learn from other amazing teachers about God while I get to stay on the couch at home." He tells me, " I have already given you a job that pays well which allows you to minister to others." I agree and say, "I know.... and thank you, but today I'd rather stay home." He says, "I know, but I need you out in the field today.... and thank you." I give a sigh as if to say, "ok." I know I should not complain about going to work because I know God uses me to bring light to so many sick people. Many of my patients often ask me why I am happy all the time. When you are sick, it is easy to get depressed and make people around you miserable. Since I am unusually joyful most of the time, my patients like the welcome change. It's now the end of the day and I knock on the last door.
My last patient of the day was deeply depressed. She had signed herself out of the rehab facility early because she wanted to come home. She lives alone and did not realize how hard it would be to do tasks she could normally complete independently before she injured herself and broke her shoulder. She cannot stand up without great difficulty and already had called the fire dept to come and help once. She could not open the refrigerator to get to her food, nor could she open the caps or boxed packages to eat the food. She could not even turn on the water faucet. My heart broke as I listened to her cry about her difficulties. I normally stay 45-60 min per patient, but this treatment lasted longer today. It's late afternoon and I realize she had not taken her morning meds because she could not open the packages. I help her with that as I instruct her on some therapy techniques that will help her be more independent and call the agency to see if she can get more assistance with an aid from them.
She proceeds to tell me about the things her family has done that hurt her feelings and make her feel like she is worthless. Her family is not helping her. I hear this story more often than I wish from an aging generation. In fact, I remember I just heard this story last week from another patient whose kids told her they didn't like her, even though they were living off her money in her house! As I sit on this patient's couch listening to the hurt in her voice, I do what I normally do: give her a hug and ask if I can pray for them. I usually get a yes, and today was no exception. Jesus whispers in my heart, "This is why I have given you this job. I need you to be my hands and feet." My heart skips a beat and I quietly tell God I am sorry for starting my day out selfishly by trying to keep Him all to myself. When I am done praying with her, she says to me, "I hope this has not been a waste of your time today." I immediately respond, "No, not at all, this is more than a job to me." It is a true statement, my job is my ministry. It may not be surrounded by worship music and I am not sitting quietly reading my Bible finding new things about Jesus in His Word, but instead I am worshiping Jesus through an act of service. I share Him with others who are hurting and in need of His touch. I am bringing His Word that He has hidden in my heart to people who are too sad, too sick, or too weak to find Him on their own. He needs us in the workplace. He needs us to get out of our comfortable home and comfortable spaces and comfortable routines and share. We are to bring hope to those who have none. God knows their hard times, knows their trouble, knows they need Him to bring a testimony of His loving kindness. Who better to do this for Him than His Church? God wants to use you to help save others!