A few nights ago at my staff Christmas party, I was looking around the bowling alley where we were gathered. People talking . . . laughing . . . enjoying time together outside of work. The same was true of dinner afterwards.
As I drove home later that evening, I started reflecting on the quality people I get to work with. They have roles at work that can be very challenging at times, but they keep showing up to do the same thing. And I hear the stories of the ways they help people - the way they show people someone does care.
It makes me grateful to have the job that I do. I can't imagine doing anything else. I'm behind the scenes in what I do, but I get to call some great people who are on the front lines co-workers. And to me, that's pretty amazing.
I still remember the first time my heart was stirred to be a part of something that helped people. At the time I had no idea how it would play out in my life. I didn't know if it would be volunteering. Or if it would be a job.
I was in grade twelve and was on a missions trip working in Seattle. One evening we were on a street where a lot of homeless in the city, talking to them and getting to know what their experience was like. It was more than I little bit out of my comfort zone, but I was with the rest of the people from my youth group I'd come with so I figured I wouldn't have to say anything, I could just listen.
There was one guy we started talking to and he started sharing about his life story. I don't remember the details of his story, but I remember walking away thinking that he really wasn't much different from us.
Sure he lived on the street. Sure he had made some choices that had resulted in him being where he was. Sure he had a lot less material possessions than any one of us who had been talking to him had.
But, he had a story that brought him to where he was. And it was a story full of choices he had made and others in his life had made that affected him.
I have a story too. A story full of choices I have made and that others in my life have made that affected where I am now.
The same is true of you as well. It's true of every person who had ever lived.
And so I know that people taking time to show someone they care makes a difference. And that is what I see when I look at my co-workers. People who are giving their time to show people someone cares. It's not always easy. And the difference it makes may not always be obvious or even know. But they keep doing the job and I want to acknowledge them for that. The work they do is important, and I'm grateful to play an unseen role.
So, if any of my co-workers are reading this, I just want to say thank you for all you do. I feel privileged to work with you. You do great things in all the things you do.