As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men… 

                                                                       -Galatians 6:10

When I first came to New York, I worked as a desk clerk at the Hotel Winslow. The once-elegant hotel was in a steep decline. The carpets were threadbare, the stained-glass windows broken, and most of the rooms empty. The management sought to relocate the few remaining residents in order to turn the hotel into an office building. I distributed the mail and answered the phones–boring, routine work. I considered it “just a job,” a way to earn some money until I was settled somewhere.

But then I got to know some of the residents. There was the sweet-faced, retired Swiss governess who listened as I practiced my high school French. There was the widow of a European diplomat who promised to introduce me to all the “nice young girls” she met at her club. I loved to hear Miss Perkins describe the concerts she heard at the Carnegie Hall–she went there at least five times a week. I even gave informal English lessons to the Russian émigré who had only recently arrived in this country. I began to look forward to my shifts at the Winslow’s front desk.

Sometimes the work we have to do appears dull and routine, But I think those are also times when God calls us to invent ourselves–our creativity and imagination–to make a job more than just a job. To make it a sort of…ministry.

I didn’t stay at the hotel forever, but whenever I hear a thick Russian accent, or pass Carnegie Hall, or sit next to an elderly lady on the bus, I think of my friends at the Winslow. I’m a richer person for having known them.

Lord, may I touch the lives of the people I meet in my work–and play–today.

— Rick Hamlin

“And I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot. for who will bring him to see what will occur after him?” (Eccl. 3:22)


Comments are closed.