I recall conversing with a coworker a few months ago about pay raises. We had both figured out that we probably weren’t getting one this year. The conversation ended with that, but one thing was certain, for myself as well as the other nurse. We weren’t going to change anything. We wouldn’t be looking for other jobs. We weren’t in it for the money. In fact, we would do what we were doing even if we weren’t paid at all.
It is difficult to explain what I do, especially since the very nature of my work requires me to protect the privacy of extremely vulnerable individuals. Some of my skills are not the kinds of things you want to hear about at the dinner table! I have discovered that nursing takes me into places I never knew existed, both dark places and happy places. There is darkness when you see things that make you want to close your mind, yet great happiness when you realize you have made a pain-racked life a little better.
I have learned not to confine my practice to a certain set of skills, but rather to seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus in all circumstances. There is danger, I think, in separating our professionalism from the words of Jesus, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
When you minister to the very “least of these”, there are a few things you must understand. It isn’t cool, glamorous, or even exciting. At times, it can be absolutely terrifying. It may not improve your general reputation.
It’s the best work in the whole world.
Why? Because you are working with Jesus, touching wounds that He touches, participating in His healing work. You see grateful eyes looking back at you, and you know that you have made the right choice, that you wouldn’t trade this work for anything in the world, that it doesn’t matter what you get paid, because you would do it anyway.
And that’s my passion.