My husband and I have been sitting in the hospital all week. Wayne’s dad had a triple bypass and a heart valve replacement on Tuesday. Pappaw is still in ICU today but progressing.

We’ve seen a lot of nurses over the last four days. You can tell by watching which ones like their jobs and which ones don’t. And you can tell which ones care about the patients and which ones see them more as a nuisance.

One visitation time on Wednesday as I neared Pappaw’s room I heard him weakly calling for help. I passed through the door just as a nurse in the corner said with snippy irritation, “There is no need to yell, I can hear you.”

All I have to say about that is it’s a good thing there was another nurse in the room who was already responding to help him. God protected me from acting very unChristian-like. And thankfully for Pappaw’s sake I have not seen the irritated nurse around again.

The nurse Pappaw has had the last two days definitely likes her job. She has been an advocate for him with the doctor. She has wiped his face with a rag, held his hand, and done everything she can to make him as comfortable as possible. She shows love to her patients through every action.

This got me to thinking about my own actions. Do I act loving not just to my family but to those God brings across my path?

“Are you more loving?” is the third question in that book I’ve been telling you about. In  “Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health,” Donald Whitney reminds us that Jesus said “love is the clearest mark of a Christian.” Love is the “badge and character of Christianity.”

He made another statement that personally challenged me: “We’re not growing in love when we have time for projects but not people.” Ouch. I have to admit that sometimes I’m too absorbed in a project to turn my attention to people that need my love and attention.

Thankfully, there are other times when I see glimmers of hope that God really is growing my love for others. How about you? Is your love growing? Are you increasingly more sensitive to the physical and spiritual needs of others?

I challenge you – and me – to show love to someone today without any expectation of them returning it. Can we do that?

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