by Pam Tinsley
A number of years ago I began a ministry at my workplace, where I was an executive at an insurance company. I didn’t call it a ministry at the time. I didn’t realize that it was a ministry. And, to be quite honest, I didn’t intend to start anything!
My mother became seriously ill, and I was frequently and uncharacteristically absent for long-weekend trips to visit and care for her. After she died co-workers began to seek me out – not to talk about my grief, but to share their own struggles with aging and seriously-ill parents. We never talked about Jesus or God or faith. Living in the “None Zone,” where our residents mark “none” when asked about religious affiliation, most probably weren’t aware that I was active in my church. Instead, they simply shared what was happening in their lives and with their parents, and I listened. We conversed about a sacred part of our lives with an openness that transcended the typical business transaction-type conversation. As a matter of fact, one person who sought me out was a senior vice president whose personal life was so private that others referred to his vacations as “CIA missions”!
It quickly became apparent just how healing these conversations were. I noticed a level of mutual care that had previously been lacking in my workplace, and I believe they did, as well. By being intentionally Christ-centered in the care for my mother and my openness to others, the interactions I had with co-workers had been transformed from simple workplace conversations into baptismal ministry.
This is just one example of how I’ve experienced that being mindful of our baptismal vows can transform what we are already doing in our lives. Not only was I changed, but others were, as well.
How might you live into your baptismal vocation, be it at work, in your community, at school, or at home with family?