As I write, as you read, someone is at the hospital. Someone is working. Someone is need their work. I can say this with confidence because it is true all the time at our hospital. Always a chaplain or two, always the rest of the staff, always patients.
This is even true on Thanksgiving Day.
As much as it feels sad that people have to work on holidays, it feels sad that people have needs on holidays. Sometimes through their bad choices in the near and long-term. Sometimes through the bad choices of others in the near and long-term. Sometimes through accidents and incidents.
But the people who are working are accepting the implications of having chosen (and been chosen for) work that brings their lives into connection with the needs of other people.
When talking about calling, Frederick Buechner suggests that “By and large a good rule for finding out is this: the kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. … The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” (Wishful Thinking, 118-19.) And people who work in hospitals find a connection between capacity and need.
However, on this Thanksgiving Day, and on all days, the people you are connected to have deep hunger, too. Not necessarily the physical kind (though that is true, too). We hunger for connection to others and to God. We hunger for connection to significance and contentment. We hunger to be known and to know.
And meeting that hunger can happen as you offer what you know and what you have at this moment to God and to others. Because just as sure as I am that there are people at the hospital, I am sure that you have need to do and someone very near you needs that.