A story that I have always liked was the story of a medical doctor who could have had a very lucrative practice in the city, but he chose to go to a rural area where doctors were really needed, and where people often did not have the financial ability to afford their services. Because he did not have a great amount of money, he could not build his own clinic, so he rented an upstairs office, over the drugstore. This was his office for many years.
The doctor lived a very unselfish life, giving his time generously in treating the people of that whole area. He kept a. smile on his face and a loving attitude in his heart. He helped many people whether they could pay their bill or not.
After years of service in that small community, there was an epidemic of a disease that was often fatal. He worked night and day and brought many people back to health, but in his weary condition he became ill with that same disease. It soon became apparent that he would not recover, and in one of his last acts of service to people, he had them bring him his records and he marked page after page of delinquent accounts, “Paid in Full.” Very shortly after doing this, he died.
The people of the area heard about the generous act of this servant of humanity and they responded with a desire to do something that would reflect their appreciation. There was very little money available but they met to decide what could be done to symbolize their belief and their love for this doctor. One man came up with a suggestion that was not costly but truly represented their feelings about a man who had served them well with the compassion of Jesus in his heart.
They all accompanied this man to the cemetery so that they could, witness together the fullness of their belief. He had taken the sign from the doorway of the entrance to the doctor’s office and put it up in plain sight at his gravesite. It simply read “Dr. Sloan - Office Upstairs.”
It does not matter what occupation we have, we all have the opportunity to use it to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ and for the help of our fellow men.
During this Lenten Season maybe we should be asking ourselves, “How can I make Christ live in my occupation?” A housewife can learn to follow Paul's admonition, “Pray without ceasing.” There are so many needs for prayer. You do not have to be saying words all the time to be in an attitude of prayer, you can praise the Lord in your spirit, and ask God’s blessing on your family, your friends, your church, your community, your nation, your world. God does hear and answer prayer -- to clean the floors and pray for the cleansing power of God for the people you know is a good combination. To carry out the garbage and remember that there is a lot of spiritual garbage that needs to be removed in our world. To sit quietly and read the scripture in search of God’s answer for your family. These things are so important.
Whatever occupation is yours, I am sure there are opportunities to serve Christ in that occupation. Search your heart, find a way to cause people to feel so strongly about you that they would say, “John Doe - Office Upstairs.”