Is work a measure of holiness? Providing care with compassion and integrity

Diane L. Schmeck-Tihansky, MHA

Excerpt from a letter written by Lori Detweiler, Community Home Services Certified Nurse Aide, to her co-workers:

“More often than not, we are the bright spots in our clients’ lives. The Lord has truly blessed me with this work ministry. I have my frustrating moments like everyone else, but God gently reminds me of my own parents, grandparents, and even my sister. In fact, I have realized that my clients are just an older version of me! While we are living our hectic lives, juggling work and family, our clients are also struggling to gain some of the independence they once had long ago. We are doing such important work here, but we need to remember that we are not just serving clients; rather we are serving our clients through Christ.”

Caregivers like Lori are the heart of the eldercare home health ministry of Community Home Services. Lori is a role model to others; she doesn’t stop caring about her clients at the end of the day. This year, Lori volunteered with other CHS staff and board members to organize and support the first CHS Walk-for-Seniors. This event raised funds to offset the care needs of low-income clients who are living at a poverty level of less than $12,000 per year. Single-handedly, Lori also obtained donations to purchase a new mattress for a bedridden, low-income client to bring comfort to her severe arthritis.

Is work a measure of holiness? I think so. “Workers are called to pursue justice. Work is not a burden. It is a way to support our families, realize our dignity and promote the common good by participating with God in his ongoing creation. Decisions made at work can make important contributions to the ethics of justice. Faith-based organizations (and employees) often have the difficult responsibility of choosing between competing values in the marketplace. This is a measure of holiness.” *

During my challenges of directing a non-profit ministry in a world of “benchmarking” (comparing against other agencies in the marketplace) and profit and loss statements, I reflect on what CHS is about. It is about one-person of integrity and compassion, like Lori, providing care in the home of another person who is lonely, frail, and elderly, like our own loved ones and neighbors. And someday, like you and me. It is about answering God’s call for our lives as a reflection of God’s love and a measure of holiness.

Conference Related Ministries like Community Home Services need the encouragement, support and prayers of God’s people in order to thrive and sustain work environments of holiness – so that we can reach others through Christ – not only today, but into the future.

community home service.jpg*Excerpts from: Everyday Christianity, 1998; and Health Progress (Mike Garrido), September 2007