Saturday, July 3, 2010


I got into the on-call room moments before the cleaning lady.  As she bustled around the room we chatted about how long she has worked here.    Thirty six years!  Every day moving up and down the on-call hall, a tiny motel like wing, changing sheets, folding towels and lining trash cans for the medical and chaplainal residents who will be spending that night.  I watched her military-like precision as she aligned the sheets, smoothing the surface and tucking in the corners.  I realized that they are called hospital corners for a reason!

I had to ask Ruby what keeps her going for thirty six years at the same job.  She had an answer.  "I know how nice it is for you kids to have a clean room to come back to at night."  I suddenly remembered how many times I have stepped off a busy hospital hall into the calm of the on-call room.  How nice it is to have a stack of white towels, an empty trash can, and a fresh bed to flop down on.  I never realized what Ruby intentionally put into it to make it that way for me.

Ruby inspires me.  So what if it is my 324th stroke assessment, I'm going assess Ruby-style! Someone wants a Bible at 4:00am?  Or pharmacy assisstance during my lunch?  I am going to try and offer the Ruby treatment.  I want to remember how much little things matter.

I told this story to all the chaplains during our morning report.  Then I read this quote -
     "Sometimes God calls us to do great things for Him. 
      Sometimes He calls us to get out of our comfort zones, get out of the boat, face the unknown, and do bold things in His name.  The Bible is full of stories of people in varying degrees of compliance as God called them to defining moments.
     Sometimes, God just asks us to be salt.
     The thing about salt is that it is never the main point.  It is not a defining moment.  It is not a moment in history or of astounding greatness. But it is good.  Especially to the one who is touched by it. 
     No one ever goes to a restaurant and returns raving, "You must go there!  They have the most incredible salt I have ever tasted!"  But it is there, making a difference.
     We all have serious defining moments in our lives.  But there is a lot of ordinary living in beween those moments.  Weeks, months, and years of life when we can honor God and reflect Him to a world that doesn't always see Him clearly - simply by being salt."  Nancy Ortberg, Looking For God.

Jesus said "You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God flavors of this earth.  If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?" Matthew 5:13, The Message

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