Matthew 25:40 - And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
In this series, those working within health care were asked to consider the words of Matthew 25:40 and then answer: Who are the least of these? How do they impact your ministry?
Each day, I spend a number of hours on the phone speaking with patients about appointments I have scheduled for them. Perhaps too often, these patients become tasks in my inbox, rather than real people depending on our clinic for their health. I became particularly aware of how much I was doing this abruptly during a conversation with my cousin Sarah a few months ago. Although she is only about ten years older than me, she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. In an email to her, I mentioned my work at the Church Health Center where I often scheduled tests for cancer patients. She replied:
Thanks again for the positive thoughts and prayers… and for putting a face with the person on the phone with you, scheduling a mammogram or biopsy that they might be terrified about! I know when I scheduled my biopsy I was crying… the poor lady on the phone must have thought I was losing my mind.
The thought of my cousin crying on the phone caused me to realize that the patients I speak to daily are perhaps someone else’s first cousin, like Sarah is to me. But even though not every patient has a loving cousin or family, every person who walks into our clinic is loved by God. For this reason alone, they deserve the best care that I am able to give.
Dan Eastlack is a Church Health Scholar at the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tenn.