A Different Kind of Christmas Gift


I have blogged before in praise of nurses and their most noble of professions. You can read that post by clicking here. Something happened the other day in HBO2 dive #31 which compels me to sing their praises yet another time.

Before describing the particular “gift” prompting this Christmas Eve post, let me just say this about the crew serving the Florida Hospital South deep wound unit day after day. These are as remarkably cheerful, professional, attentive, and compassionate professionals as you will ever want to encounter. I just wish they would stop calling me “Mr. Heffelfinger” all the time! It makes me feel so old. But their code of respect toward the patient will permit no informality whatsoever, while being as warm as they can possibly be at every turn.

Just before the chamber door shut, one of those dear ladies in blue scrubs approached my wheel chair with smartphone in hand. She asked, with something of a sparkle in her eye, if she could read me something. “Sure,” I said, wondering what she had to share with this jaw-broken patient. She later sent this text to my phone.

The Servant’s Reward
One day, when you are in Heaven,
someone will come up to you and thank you
for the way you touched his or her life.
The person’s words will take you completely by surprise.
Soon, another person will seek you out,
and then another, and another.
As you listen to each one’s story,
you will begin to discover all the ways that God used your life
when you were unaware of it.
You will find that it was most often not through the big things that you did,
but through the small and simple things–
a spoken word that was not planned,
a spontaneous act of kindness,
a loving attitude or a caring smile.
To your joy, you will discover that in all these ways and more,
God used you to deposit an eternal measure of His love
into many needy hearts.
~Roy Lessin~

She finished reading and just looked at me quietly smiling as much to say, and I think I got the message correctly, “It’s not lost on us what you do day-in-and-day-out here with your encouragements to us.” To be honest, I think the determination to bless my caregivers with thanks, affirmations, compliments and the like is more about me than about them. I can’t stomach the thought of being a trial to these all-star performers when I can be by God’s grace a treasure of a low maintenance, high-patience, why-complain-when-you-can-bless  patient in their care.

Besides, I know what God’s word says in the wisdom books in Prov. 15:23.

“To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!

Her gift touched me. She went out of her way to reinforce just how important a gift a word of encouragement can be to others. Whatever 2016 brings in my trial by jaw journey, I hope never to forget this special dimension of a servant’s reward. Might you do the same with the Lord’s help?

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