Mark 9:35 (New International Version)
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone
who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Late one December night on the cancer ward the halls were
quiet and solemn, the patients were asleep and most of the visitors were gone.
The nurses were gathered about the nurse's station preparing for shift change.
Sarah, one of the nurses, was especially tired, having worked seven straight 12
hour days. The kids had needs, her husband had been laid off, and the house
payment was due. What kept her going was that in January she was going to find
a new job. After ten years of answering call lights, working short staffed,
putting up with constant administrative changes, she had decided that it was
not worth the effort anymore.
PING. PING. PING. Sarah angrily looked at the call light
box, "Good grief!"
The patient was a seventy-year-old woman. Sarah had been
to her room at the end of the hall at least fifteen times. Angrily she started
down the hall. On her way, she suddenly stopped. She stood motionless as a soft
voice wafted out of room 235.
"And then one day I'll cross the river; I'll fight
life's final war with pain; And then as death gives way to victory, I'll see
the lights of glory and I'll know He lives."
Tears welled up in her eyes as she listened and thought
about the young woman in that room -- a thirty-five year old mother of two with
cancer, with only a week to live, perhaps days. Sarah stood there, with tears
in her eyes, remembering how this young terminal woman had such peace. The
patient would speak to everyone who came into her room and she would smile even
in her pain and took the time to share her faith and let people know the reason
for her peace was a faith in God. All the nurses who had been around her
commented on her strength and how they had felt peace and calm after talking with
this exceptional young woman.
"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; Because He
lives, all fear is gone; Because I know who holds the future, Life is worth all
the living, just because He lives." Unstoppable tears flowed as Sarah
stood a few moments more, but the tears had taken on a newness. No longer were
they tears of sadness for this young woman but tears of renewal that washed
away the disappointment and disillusionment of her job, and the fear about the
Sarah started down the hall to answer the call light, but
she was no longer going to check on some pestering old woman. She was going to
the room of a patient, a person, a fellow human in need. Sarah no longer looked
to January so she could quit -- she looked to her next shift when she would
again have the opportunity to serve her fellow man. Sarah left work with a new
outlook on life. She had a rekindling of the spirit of service that had
motivated her to become a nurse. Those fires had almost died, but for a young
terminal woman who had the desire to be of service to her fellow man even unto
This is a reminder to each of us that the reason we are
on this earth at all is to be of service to each other. Christ said it best
when He said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his
life for his brother."
Dear Lord we pray that our eyes would be open to those
around us. Help us to serve those that are in our life and need Your love. In
Jesus’ name, Amen