Theologian Martin Luther believed that a person’s vocation was more than just his/her job. He believed that vocation included the God-given gifts and talents that all of us possess. Even though not everyone on a hospice team may believe in God in quite the same way, God uses all of us to fulfill a far greater purpose. No one person has all the gifts needed to care for others, but together we have all the gifts.
Each of us is called, and has been formed through education and experience, as one team that has been sent by God to work at Hope Hospice at this present time. Not every team member may know that they were called by God to this work, but they were. As well, each team member uses the gifts given to them by God to complete their daily work and help others. For example, our CNA provides baths to our patients. Theologically the water that is used is similar to the water used in baptism, that same redeeming water that refreshes and gives new life.
Our nurses use their hands to heal and work with wounds and medications, just as God heals us. Our medical director uses his knowledge to help us treat our patients, drawing from the same wisdom given to him by God, who is all-knowing. Our social worker works with families, treating them with the same care and respect that God gives us. Our volunteers embody the true sense of “diakonia” the Greek word for serving others, or literally “through the dust” created by their work. God’s people, when equipped with a servant’s heart, are diaconal ministers. Our administrators and directors coordinate people and tasks, much like the same order that God uses to rule the world. Our administrative assistant helps the entire team, just as Aaron helped Moses and the disciples helped Jesus. Our bereavement team shows compassion for loved ones experiencing loss and walks with them as they grieve, just as God does. And our quality assurance manager reviews charts for accuracy in the same way that the Wise Men reviewed the stars for accuracy to find the location of baby Jesus.
Each team member has been given Godly gifts that enable them to do their work. And each of us uses our gifts to work together as a team to help our patients. Together we have all the gifts needed to provide holistic care. We have been formed and called to work together for the greater good to care for God’s people using the gifts God has bestowed upon us.