Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Hope

"The needs of the patient come first." Mayo Clinic

Visiting the Mayowood Mansion in Rochester

The Mission Statement of the Mayo Clinic is simple: “To inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.”  This past week, Keith and I had the opportunity to visit the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, so that we could get another evaluation on Keith’s disease (Wegener’s Granulomatosis) and discuss his treatment plan.  God opened every possible door in order for us to make the trip and for Keith to be seen quickly.  As a result of our time at Mayo, our questions were answered, Keith’s treatment plan was changed, and we left feeling confident about moving forward as we better understand the disease.  We know that the future of Keith’s health can’t be predicted by even the most qualified medical team, and with that, we will continue to rest in the knowledge  that God’s hand will ultimately control every step, and we will draw strength from  Him.
During our trip, I was reminded of the gifts that God has given each of us in order to serve Him and others.  The gifts that we’ve been given are not ours.  God gave them to us so that we would share them. And most importantly, each of us has something to give.  The many doctors and staff we visited use their gifts to heal, comfort, and give hope to thousands of patients each year. 
One woman we met was an inspiration to me, as she served others with her spiritual gifts.  Her name was Suchita, and she worked at the Marriott Mayo Clinic, the hotel where we stayed.  Suchita worked mornings in the concierge lounge, serving the hotel patrons, most of whom I learned were Mayo patients.  She kept the breakfast foods supplied and the room cleaned, but most importantly, Suchita greeted everyone with an enthusiastic smile, she visited with the people there, & listened as patients spoke with her about their illnesses.  I watched her respond with kindness as shaky voices confided in her, and heard her caring words in reply to tear-filled stories.  Suchita wasn’t a doctor, a nurse, or even an employee of the clinic, but I know that the purpose she served there touched lives in great ways.
I’ve been digging through my Bible since our trip, reading about our calling to use the spiritual gifts we’ve all been given, and here is what I’ve been reminded of:  It doesn’t matter whether we have been given great talents, abilities and wealth, or very little. What matters to God is whether we make good use of what we have been given, whether large or small.  Here are some verses that I love, related to using our spiritual gifts…

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.  So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.  If your gift is serving others, serve them well.  If you are a teacher, teach well.  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.  If it is giving, give generously.  If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.  And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)

“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” Romans 12:11 (NLT)

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.  There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.  God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NLT)

After we arrived home from our trip, my mom brought our boys home to us.  She walked in the door, on one arm was a giant bag of their clothes from the week, all washed and neatly folded; in the other arm was a casserole for dinner.  To my mom, doing this sort of thing is normal because it’s what comes to her naturally, but what I see is a person who is serving and using her gifts.  See, we don’t have to search for our gifts; God has given them to us already, we just need to do what comes naturally to serve others in the way that we serve best.

All in the matter of a week, I saw new hope come in various ways; through my mom, as she met the day to day needs that I tend to worry about getting done in these crazy times; through Suchita, with her kind and comforting words; through the doctors, who provided service to us, just as their mission statement describes.  What a great reminder of  the impact that we can have on others by using our spiritual gifts; through Christ, we can change the life of another just by doing the things that we do best!

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