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The Least of These

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40 NIV)

Many of you have asked me how I’ve been doing now that I’m a licensed RN. Well, I’ve been doing more school—I have 8 months left—and two jobs that are vastly different from each other: a pediatric nursing home and an eating disorder residential treatment center. As I’m about to brave the ice and snow for work with the kids today, they are on my heart and mind.

Not many have heard of a pediatric nursing home health model, but it’s exactly what it sounds like. We have medically fragile children, from infants to 17-year-olds, who have either no one to care for them or no one at home who can give the level of care they need. Some are attached to ventilators and are bed-bound; most have some congenital abnormality that will never allow them to run. Some children have spent most of their short lives here or have passed away in this home. Others get weaned off their ventilators or become stable enough to go back to their families.

Caring for these children makes me wonder so many things. Why does God continue to allow this kind of ongoing suffering in someone so little, so innocent? How can this be called abundant life?

As I’ve struggled to understand God in such a setting, I’ve found him speaking to me in little ways. Tiny encounters remind me that these little ones are still made in His image. God has placed them in our care and provided for them in such a way. He’s answered the anxious prayers under my breath when I’ve got to clear an airway on a scared little toddler who’s turning blue. He’s got them and me in His hands. I’m reminded that these little ones are why Jesus came into a world that has suffering. They are loved by God just as much as I am. It is a privilege to go into work and care for them, knowing that Jesus is in the “least of my brothers and sisters.”

I will probably always ask “Why God” and cry a little when I get home from a particularly difficult shift. But in the midst of my questioning, He is faithful and has always answered. I go back to work knowing I will encounter Jesus.

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