Working In A Helping Profession Has Profoundly Personal Benefits

Daughter is home and recovering from a skull fracture, concussion, and seizure. She got tremendous care at the Pediatric Intensive Care unit at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, and we have several weeks ahead of us of severely curtailed physical activity (so no more of this for awhile) and lots of headaches.

Today’s post is about people who care for people.

Meredith (my wife) and I both chose caring professions that are simultaneously exhausting and fulfilling. These past 36 hours have unleashed upon us the personal benefits of working jobs in which your colleagues are caregivers.

Pastors I used to work with were my first calls after the accident. Karen arrived at the ER almost as soon as Meredith did. Krista came soon after, and she stayed with Meredith through Daughter’s transfer to the PICU 15 miles away, took our car home for us, retrieved clean clothes for Daughter, and then maintained a constant presence with Meredith and Daughter until I arrived around noon yesterday. All told that’s nearly 15 uninterrupted hours of caring for my family. I’ll never pay for the value of that.

It drastically improves my feelings about the state of the church to be on the receiving end of the kind of pastoral care that Karen and Krista provided and that I know pastors everywhere are providing all the time.

Another colleague, Reece, showed up at the hospital unbidden with sandwiches for Meredith and I. He even brought two of his kids with him. If your dad is Reece Lemmon, and he takes you with him on a holiday to deliver sandwiches to a colleague’s family in the hospital, you’re being raised right. Those sandwiches were worth far more than Reece paid for them.

My wife has a colleague who came too. He drove over 20 miles on a Sunday night to be with her in the ER, and he provided important counsel that helped Meredith insist on the PICU transfer, which the ER did not want to do. Here’s to Chuey.

When you work in a helping profession you spend the bulk of your hours and energy alongside colleagues who know how to care for people, who do it for a living, like you do. When, unexpectedly, you need some of that care, your colleagues may be the first to provide it.