M. is a kid that works in the OR Bloc. He has a high school degree, and started off working in the hospital's housekeeping department. Word on the street is that our chief of surgery watched him cleaning the hospital hallways for several months and went to the head of personnel and told him that he wanted M. moved to the OR.
This guy cleans as if the Queen of England is due for a visit.
And not just once in a while. All the time.
In fact, I've never seen him do any task half-heartedly. No matter how menial it may seem, he does his best and he does it well. Often M. helps me out with translation (he has beautiful French) and even will assist me from time to time with dressing changes. I enjoy working with him because he's incredibly curious, asks lots of questions, and soaks up the answers like a sponge.
But today I learned a few things from him.
As I was waiting for a patient to be brought in, M. started cleaning the OR sinks. He pulled out the cleaning product and the Nigerien equivalent of a Brill-O pad. He scoured those metal sinks as if there was nothing more important in the world. He put every bit of force he had into scrubbing them clean.
I went about my morning and thought nothing of it. About an hour later I was at the sink washing my hands (not to worry, I had already washed them at those same sinks several times . . . just thought nothing of it) when I realized how sparklingly shiny the water spouts were. I looked into the normally-dulled-with-grime-and-water-and-soap-residue basins. I could see my reflection smiling back at me. M. had not just cleaned those sinks, he polished them.
I began to think about that verse in 1 Corinthians 10 '. . . whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.' I had a hard time picturing myself at 30 scrubbing a sink everyday in such a way that sparkles when I'm done. Sure, if QueenElizabeth were in town . . . but on a daily basis?
I started to think about crutch training. Do I give out every pair of crutches as if I was doing it for the glory of God? If He looked down into my proverbial-sink-of-crutch-training would His reflexion smile back at Him? I had to admit to myself, and to the Lord, that no, He probably wouldn't.
The truth is, crutch-training is probably the easiest part of my day. But I hate it. There's nothing 'OT' about it. It's a necessity and it's my responsibility and until I have an aide to pawn it off on, I'm stuck with it.
But what kind of a crap attitude is that? What happened to 'whatever you do, do all for the glory of God'? Crutch-training provides mobility for my patients. And it offers me the opportunity to spend some time with Nigeriens. I could polish my sink and use crutch-training as chance to spread the love of God, instead, I have been choosing to look down on this obligatory task as a time-consuming burden. Time I could better spend stretching burn patients or doing exercises with patients who have recently become paralyzed. But 'God chose the foolish things to shame the wise' (I Cor 1:27).
So while M. continues to stand on a rung pretty close to the bottom, he also demonstrates an ethic that will not only bring him further towards the top but that helps the hold the rest of us to that same standard.