by Rev. Jennifer Dawson, First Presbyterian Church, Parsons
There are many ways to make a difference in the world. We are all called to make the world a better place. Some people make a difference through a smile. Some of us make a difference in our work. The CNAs of Presbyterian Manor make a difference every time they come to work.
I see caring CNAs each time I visit Presbyterian Manor. I hear them laughing with residents. I see the concern they have for each of the people they touch. It is a hard job. I was a CNA several years ago. I still remember many of the people I served each day. There was Beatrice who would argue with me every time I came into her room. By the time I was ready to leave that position, Beatrice and I were good friends. I learned that if I took a few minutes to fill up her water, she would let me do whatever it was I had to do. I remember the long nights of helping people, one after another. I remember how hard it was to lose a beloved resident. And, I remember how much fun it was to share holidays with residents and their families.
1 John 3: 18 says Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
This verse speaks to how CNAs love. Each day, they have the opportunity to show love in action. Through their care, the lives of so many are made better. And, when we show love to one another, we are fulfilling the call on our lives to make the world a better place. The work of caring for others is exhausting and sometimes it seems that it makes very little impact.
There is a story about a church father who was walking along the seaside with a student. The beach was full of starfish stranded when the tide had gone out. He would bend down and toss every starfish he could into the sea. His student asked him why he was doing that. There were so many, there was no way he could make a difference. The church father responded that he may not change the world for all the starfish, but he could save each one he tossed back into the ocean.
Caring for others can seem like tossing starfish into the ocean. The needs are never completely met. The work is never finished, but each time a CNA helps a resident, the world is made better. Thank you to all the CNAs who make life better for the residents and families of Parsons Presbyterian Manor.