One of the strengths of an organization that is persistently mission focused is the opportunity to share in the stories of our fellow workers. Someone shared a story with me this week that captured how establishing meaningful connections with our patients is important to the fulfillment of our mission—and started me thinking about connections.
Lorraine Wells is an RN and case manager at Adventist Home Health. Recently she had a patient whose lifelong hobby was fishing. But between the wheelchair and the loss of strength associated with the condition that would eventually take his life, going fishing even one more time seemed out of the question. But Lorraine didn’t see it that way. She searched for a fishing spot with a wheelchair ramp—and much to his delight, helped him work out the logistics of getting to it. Even with limited strength and limited time, her patient got several more opportunities to pursue his passion. You can imagine what that meant to him.
If you asked Lorraine, she would tell you that it was just a matter of compassion for a patient she cared for. Some would describe it as going the extra mile. I’d like to suggest that it is a small and important example of how, by connecting with a real need, we are fulfilling our mission of demonstrating God’s care.
Connecting with each other is a very important part of what we do with our lives. We are constantly monitoring and nurturing our connections—with family, friends, and colleagues. We connect with our neighbors and our fellow citizens in a community. We often connect with those with whom we worship or share a particular worldview. We forge powerful connections with classmates, or with individuals who share a significant life experience.
Reflecting on how God connects with us, the Psalmist writes, “You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy” (Psalm 65:5-8).
I love that phrase, “the hope of all the ends of the earth and the farthest seas.” Who are we hoping will connect with us today? Who might we be called on to connect to the great riches of God’s grace and love?
Lorraine Wells saw in the AHC mission an opportunity to help a dying man go fishing. What an amazing calling—to be the connectors of hope!