And now, for something a bit different. Every week, I write about relationships – relationships at work, relationships at home, relationships in our social lives. I don’t just write about relationships with other people. I tend to think of relationships with money, things, hobbies, vocations, vacations, and our own souls, as equally important to those interpersonal relationships.
Today, I want to talk about three women with whom I have a distant but compelling relationship. I can greet them each by name but I know few other salient facts about them. These three women are of varying ages. In fact, I cannot tell you the exact age of any of them. I cannot name their husbands, nor their children. I cannot even tell you where they went to school, what books they read or even the types of cars they drive. Seems I don’t know much about them, but I do know that which is important.
What I do know is that each of these three women is highly educated and possesses a skillset that is exceedingly coveted in our society, yet they spend their days toiling for a tiny percentage of what their peers take home. In fact, the nearly invisible non-profit where they work, occasionally has difficulty making payroll at the end of the month. They’re not in it for recognition or wealth.
These are the three licensed and certified MDs at a free clinic in my hometown. They cater to the medical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the lowest economic rung of our society. Their patients are the working poor in my city. Many of those patients cannot even speak English and none of them enjoy the luxury of medical insurance. It’s highly unlikely that even one of their patients will ever pay these doctors a penny.
Some of their patients work, either part-time or on contract, for companies in my hometown, companies which don’t even know these doctors exist, much less that they provide the medical care for those companies’ uninsured employees. In fact, I meet people every day, in coffee shops, in churches, on the job, and just walking down the street in my hometown, who don’t even know (and in some cases, don’t even care) that these doctors are literally saving lives right under our noses.
So, if you’re like me, you’re asking yourself why the Hell would someone with that much expertise and drive be working for so little, amidst one of the wealthiest economies in human history. Actually, I did ask. I asked expecting answers as varied as the three women’s personalities and backgrounds. What I heard were three practically identical answers, almost as if these women had already pondered that same question and each come to the same conclusion.
All three will tell you that they have a calling to serve — and not just an emotional directive. Each of these women is living out their faith in a specific and concrete fashion. They are sharing the love of Him who sang the stars into being, set the planets in their orbits and brings rain on both the evil and the good. They are sharing the love that has been lavished upon them to a point where they have no other choice than to pay it forward. They do not require that their patients believe in the God whom they serve. They simply want to share His love with those who need it most.
I know that many who read these articles do not identify as believers in God, and I would in no way presume to convince you otherwise. Some of us have had lousy encounters with life. Some have even had disastrous encounters with churches and people who profess to represent God. Some of us cannot reconcile our understanding of science, nature, people, or suffering with the idea that a loving Creator exists. I can only point you to the lives of these three women and the relationship they have with a living God — women who elevate the act of relating to, and loving other human beings, to an artform — women I want to be like when I grow up.
(L-R) Hope Clinic, Dr. Jennifer Kampas, MD, Dr. Donna Bailey, MD, Dr. Lynne Orosco, MD
If you want to know more about the work of Hope Clinic of Garland and all the other magnificent people who work there, visit their website at www.hopeclinic-garland.org I hope you’ll also visit the “Donate” page while you’re there. In fact, I hope you’ll keep returning to that page on a regular basis and make sure the work of this incredible non-profit flourishes. I tend to be a little skittish about recommending non-profits because I’ve encountered so many that were bogus, but this is one of the few I would vouch for with my life. Please check them out.
We love because
He first loved us.
1 John 4:16
— Dr. Lynne Orosco, MD
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— Jonathan Haber
Another great book from the MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series. Haber notes that 75% of employers report new-hires lack critical thinking skills. Meanwhile, public and higher education have highlighted their prioritizing of Critical Thinking for years. I’m not sure what to think about that. Read the book and decide.
— Shon Achor
I re-read this so I’m re-recommending it. Achor is probably the preeminent voice of positive psychology today and he has a serious handle on what it takes to change our thinking and our lives. He’s also a great story teller that communicates technical information in an entertaining manner.
A meeting of great minds who think alike