October 22, 2021

The Ministry of Checking In

The number of ways people can get in contact with each other has certainly grown in this digital age. Choices used to be getting together in person or writing a letter. Then came telegrams, telephones, radio, and television. And that was pretty much the way it was until things like fax machines, email, text messaging, and social media came along. But a fairly universal message that has endured across the years no matter what the channel is simply: “Are you OK?”

Of course, in part because of all these channels, we’ve become quite practiced at asking this question in many different ways, such as: “How you doing?” or “Is everything all right?” or “What’s going on?” And many times, we immediately follow it up with a reassuring: “Just checking in.”

Most of us are fortunate to have people who reach out when they observe us looking a little weary, worried, or concerned. It's a great blessing to be encircled by friends or colleagues who are attentive enough to know when something may not be quite right. It can be even more impactful when a whole community of people is invested in our well-being — such as a circle of friends, a community of faith, or a shared interest group.

At Adventist HealthCare, our team members are important in fulfilling this role for one another and our patients and their families. This willingness to make a personal connection fosters healing and health and is key to the fulfillment of our mission. Call it the “ministry of checking in.”

A Bible passage that reminds me of this ministry is Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (NIV). I love the idea that when even a small team of two or three gather, God shows up. God actively “checks in” so that we can then extend God's grace and compassion to others.

I believe that God is a real and powerful part of the care we deliver at Adventist HealthCare, impacting every aspect of what we do. I believe that God’s providence is enacted through our attentive minds, our skilled hands, and our compassionate hearts — as well as our careful stewardship of the right resources and the right environments for excellent care. It may start with just two or three, but I am overwhelmed when imagining the power unleashed through all of our hearts and hands joined together in dedicated service!

In my prayers each day — when I “check in” with God — I pray that every one of our Adventist HealthCare family members is OK. I pray that God will protect us and bless each person and every team — large or small — as we work together to become a means for compassionate healing. May God bless you in your “ministry of checking in.”

The original version of this commentary was posted by Adventist HealthCare.