Tuesday, January 18, 2011

True Compassion

I recently got a new job at Heritage Assisted Living, a nursing home near my house. I work as a dietary aide, so my responsibilities include helping prepare food and then delivering it to the many different dining rooms around the home. After the meals are done being served, then I make my rounds again and take the dirty dishes back to the kitchen in order to wash and return them. It is not a very challenging job, and it can also be very fun and very rewarding.

One of the things that I love about my job is being able to work with people. Many of the people at the home are very sad. They feel helpless, no longer independent. They are no longer able to do the things that they like to do. They feel depressed and lonely, hardly getting to see their family except for a couple of times a year. When I bring food to them, I can't help but feel sorry for them. Here are people that worked hard all of their lives and now are being deprived of their independence.

When I prepare the food for the next days meals, I pray for each and every resident that lives their. I pray that they may remain healthy and do not become sick. I pray that they have a little joy and happiness in their lives, that they are not overcome with loneliness and boredom. I pray that they might see God in their lives each and everyday and know that he is right beside them always.

After preparing the food, it is now time to deliver it. When I do this, I make sure to put on a big smile and be friendly to the residents when I make my entrance in the dining room. As I make my way to each table, presenting them with their food I make a point of asking everyone how they are, how their day has been going or maybe throwing in a couple comments or questions about the latest Green Bay Packers score.
At work my job is to prepare food, but I think that it should also consist of spreading a little joy and laughter into the residents hearts. Perhaps some of them have not had or experienced any in a long time.

I like to look at my job as a great ministry opportunity. A priest makes hospital visits and house calls, visiting with people and showing them the love and peace of Christ. If this is what God truly has planned for me, then I think I am on the right track with what I am doing at Heritage. This job can be used as great practice for my future vocation. We all need a little happiness and love in our lives, and I am happy to give it to all.