Doing Her Best Work: A Life Saved

I’m always looking for ways to get out of work. 

In an instant, I can think of a hundred reasons why cleaning out this drawer no one uses is not worth my time. Why not budging until the kitchen counter is spotless is irrational because there are so many more important tasks to get to. How, if I do a forty percent job vacuuming, I will have a hundred percent of my relaxing time available after the kids go to bed. 

I know I cut corners, especially in work that I don’t enjoy, and I don’t like that about myself. I think that’s why I’m drawn to writing stories about characters who don’t–or learn not to after a bad experience! 

Because I know deep down that work is only small and not meaningful if I treat it like that. I love stories that demonstrate how showing up faithfully to our daily tasks, especially when it seems like no one notices or appreciates what we’re doing, can transform us and even the people around us in big ways. 

I came across a news story this week that touched on this theme. It was about a member of a hospital cleaning staff, by simply attending to her daily work in a caring way, was credited with saving the life of a patient battling Covid-19.

The woman made little attempts each day to talk with the man struggling for his life alone in his room. Instead of hurrying through her work as quickly as possible, she engaged the man in conversation even though English wasn’t her first language. 

Over the course of a few mornings, their conversation became deeper. She encouraged him to have faith that he would recover. The man looked forward to her visits–one of the few people who ever entered his room–and it gave him the strength to keep fighting for his life. He survived.

I was profoundly moved by this woman. She transformed the seemingly small tasks of housekeeping into life-saving work by showing up with her whole self, with diligence and kindness and compassion. A father returned home to his family because she did not believe in cutting corners.

You can find the news story here:


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