I once heard someone say that all sin amounts to one thing… Selfishness.
It’s true, too. Think of any sin and you will see someone putting their own needs first.
Christianity is the opposite. Selflessness. Putting others first and then putting yourself in a position to serve them.
It all sounds wonderfully beautiful, getting to be the selfless one who cares for the poor, the hungry, or the sick and minister to the lost.
But in reality, this is messy. It is uncomfortable. Giving in this way can even be dangerous.
It’s so much easier to go to church and promote programs, hoping the lost will find us.
We spent last night in the emergency room of the local children’s hospital.
***Sam decided to eat a bite of a cedar tree branch and it became stuck in his throat near his tonsils. Seems that area is very close to the carotid artery. We spent a lot of time waiting for test results from a cat scan to be sure that removal wouldn’t cause dire harm. All ended well and my little one is on a soft, bland diet for a few days and laying off eating any more trees. ;)
Big city emergency rooms are filled with people in crisis. There were babies crying and toddlers running off while their mommas were attending to a sick little one. There were worried faces. We heard the quick work of the staff when the ambulances arrived carrying some little ones who had been in a car wreck.
We weren’t being nosey. It’s just that in a place like that, you see folks who are hurting. It’s impossible not to care.
We were touched deeply by the pain of one patient’s family member who had followed an ambulance, arriving to find what was, apparently, devastating news. My heart broke for her. I think many hearts did.
The emergency room is a hard place to be.
It was also beautiful.
There was this fellow there. We got to know him, as he checked on us regularly. He wasn’t a nurse or a doctor. He was just there to make sure our needs were cared for. He brought me coffee and some graham crackers. He kept us up to date on wait times. He shared smiles and concern. He made a difference for a lot of folks who were in difficult situations, including the heartbroken lady.
I don’t know how I knew he was a Christian, but I did. There was no mistaking from where his strength came. There was no mistaking the Love he was sharing. He was ministering in the very best way possible.
As we talked, he shared that he had been a successful business man and able to retire early and live a comfortable lifestyle. He began volunteering at the hospital and has gone on to work in the ER, touching many lives.
His job is hard. It is heartbreaking. It is messy. It is also selfless and beautiful.
He is an example of what Christianity can be in the real world, but is all too seldom.
** Like what you read here? Hope you’ll take time to share my silly little blog with a friend. :)