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Finding Faith: A thank you to the tireless workers

"I see each of you, and my prayer today is that you feel the love of the Holy Spirit wrapping itself around you," Devlyn Brooks writes. "From one grateful traveler to you, please know that your work matters!"

Devlyn Brooks 2021
Devlyn Brooks
Contributed
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To all of you who are tirelessly toiling in a service profession … I see you!

To those working harder because of employee shortages in the food service industry; those working in understaffed hotels; those souls showing up in the airline industry to throw luggage, direct traffic and fix the glitches that snag up airline traffic.

To each and every one of you working behind the scenes in the hospitality industries so that our travel goes off seemingly without a hitch … thank you!

I see each of you, and my prayer today is that you feel the love of the Holy Spirit wrapping itself around you. From one grateful traveler to you, please know that your work matters!

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look not to your own interests but to the interests of others.”

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You are doing work that is a calling; hard work that carries on the faithful tradition of hospitality. We forget this today, but it was from our earliest Hebrew scriptures that we learned to care for strangers: feed them, provide a warm hearth and give shelter.

Yet today, we hold such work in low esteem in a culture that fixates on money, power and celebrity. You are forgotten the larger financial machine that chews up workers and measures worth in only status.

Raised by a single mother, who made her life’s work in small town cafes, waiting on customers, building friendships with regulars and caring for the stranger as if she’d known them all her life, I know a thing or two about the work you do.

I’ve done a fair amount of traveling for work these past few years, and I’ve witnessed the less-than-ideal circumstances in which you continue to do your work, especially since the opening of travel after the pandemic.

Short tempers, rude comments, irrational demands. You take the brunt of a traveling society that is tired, anxious and overwrought. And your only error is that you happen to be standing in front of a customer when they break down.

You are the workers that Jesus would hang out with. I’m certain of that!

Jesus wouldn’t be sitting in first class, or dining at the most expensive restaurants, or staying in the king suite on the top floor. He would be in the kitchen prepping food, on the floor mopping, upstairs changing bed linens or in the elements throwing luggage into the back of a big ol’ plane. He would have been working right where you are, nearest the stranger, ensuring their needs were met.

I see you … and your tireless work ethic, your commitment to service and your desire to take care of the customer.

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And I say, thank you. None of us say it enough. Blessings to you!

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Related Topics: FAITH
Opinion by Devlyn Brooks
Devlyn Brooks is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and serves Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minn. He also works for Forum Communications Co. He can be reached at devlyn.brooks@forumcomm.com for comments and story ideas.
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