When my daughter was only a few months old, she got a urinary tract infection and had to be admitted to the hospital.
Because infants’ bodies do not localize infection, the doctors were concerned the infection would spread throughout her body. For several days, we were stuck in the hospital while the doctors ran a number of tests. Of course, when your baby is only two months old and you are a new mom, every test feels traumatic and every possible outcome runs through your head. But after a few days, my daughter was much better, and we were only waiting for a few more results and doses of antibiotics before we could go home.
On the last day in the hospital, I met one of the most remarkable women I have ever met. I was sitting on a hospital bed with my little one when a custodian walked in to clean the room. As she swept around me, I suddenly recognized her. The first day we were in the hospital my daughter had to get a spinal tap to see if the infection had spread. The doctor had taken her down the hall to do the procedure, and my husband had gone with them. I just couldn’t bear to watch. So I stayed in the hospital room with tears streaming down my cheeks as I could hear her wailing down the hallway. This same custodian had walked by our room and through the open door she saw me crying. She simply told me she would be praying for me and continued on her way.
I told her I recognized she was the same custodian who had offered to pray for me a few days before and that it had meant a lot to me. As we got to talking more about faith, she told me many stories about different people she had prayed for in the hospital and even miracles she had seen. She explained to me her family often encouraged her to find a better job that wasn’t so physically demanding as she got older, but she believed God wanted her to stay as a custodian at the hospital so God could continue to use her there.
I was struck by this woman’s incredible humility and pure desire to serve God. I am inspired by her to act boldly, speak kindly, and never be too good for something God has for me. Although I can’t say I aspire to be a custodian at a hospital, I aspire to be like this woman, whose name I don’t even know. If you are struggling to feel value and purpose with where you are at right now, take this story as an encouragement to be the hands and feet of Jesus right where you are.
by Lauren Bratten
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” —Zechariah 4:10
Lord, thank you for giving me the opportunity to spread your love and power to those around me. Please give me the courage to listen to you and pray for others who need a touch from you.