This summer in the middle of the night, I met a young couple, Mark and Katie, at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. Their 6-month-old daughter Elizabeth had a heart procedure, but two days later her right ventricular burst.
The unbelievable team in the NICU saved her life with an almost unimaginable display of teamwork and skill. Within moments of her ventricular bursting, a huge team of surgeons and nurses were there to save her life.
Late in the night as we entered the NICU to pray for Elizabeth, a nurse in scrubs stopped me.
“Steve, what are you doing here?”
I was a bit taken back because the nurse happened to be a man bigger than me.
“I’m here to pray over Elizabeth”, I answered, and then added, “Who are you?!”
He smiled, “ I go to your church. I attend the Clinton Township campus.”
Surprised, I exclaimed, “ You drive to Ann Arbor from Clinton Township to work here?!”
“I do,” he answered. “I love it here. I love caring for children in distress, I love being on the firing line. I love being on a team making a difference, fighting for life! It’s part of what God made me to do.”
Here I have to confess….I have forgotten his name. I’m hoping he will read this and call me for coffee 🙂
But this unnamed brother is living his faith at work withinfluence.
–He has a mindset and a commitment to combine excellent work and true caring.
–He comes ready to battle for children’s lives and thinks nothing of driving 1 1/2 hours to work each way!
–He is on a team where no one can shirk their responsibility. Too much is on the line.
Here is the part I don’t know. I don’t know how he shares his faith in Jesus. But what I saw that night, his credibility as a servant leader would have anyone willing to hear what he says.
I have experienced this kind of moment hundreds of times. And I have personally seen them pray with patients who were desperate for help and hope. I am so proud to know of this quiet army at Kensington who are touching lives at their critical moment.
As we entered Elizabeth’s room, I watched this guy and other nurses with deep empathy hug the parents. I was overwhelmed by the love and compassion.
Elizabeth, so tiny at just 6 months, was inundated with tubes and machines. I knelt and prayed a desperate prayer for her life and for her grieving parents, and I prayed for the intrepid workers at Mott’s and the untold number of heroes we forget to honor and pray for. I wish I prayed for them more.
It’s been months since then, and precious Elizabeth has lived and continues to improve. She is finally smiling again!
Your job may not be as dramatic as my unnamed friend from Kensington, but if you let Jesus give you the strength to do your job “with all your might” (read Ecclesiastes 9:10) there is no end to the good you can do.
And you will have many chances to touch lives because everywhere we are, people are struggling, people are fearful, and people need encouragement.
So make your work matter, and make people matter more!
– Steve Andrews | Kensington Church, Lead Pastor & Co-founder