Small Portion; Essential Part
By Katherine Batten, BSN, RN, University of South Carolina Upstate 2015 graduate
In nursing school, I traveled to Ecuador to gain international experience as a student nurse, connect with a different culture, and see how God could use me to encourage others. We provided free health screenings, distributed hygiene materials (vitamins, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste), and connected with many Ecuadorians through Extreme Response International (2012). My class held a health screening at the Woman's Resource Center in Quito. We had the privilege of hearing a testimony from one participant. She explained how she'd begun a relationship with Jesus as her Savior through the ministry of Extreme Response. In addition, through the life skills taught at the resource center, she gained needed confidence. Hearing her story, and providing care for those in her community, made me realize that anything done for God is worth doing.
I was encouraged by these words, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV). Whether it is listening to our patients or providing toothpaste to help someone in need, we can paint a picture for others of God's love. We are like a small portion of his masterpiece, and each of us has an essential part. Even though we may not always be able to talk openly about the Gospel with our patients, our care provides a demonstration of his love. As Christian students and professional nurses, our role is to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to offer genuine care that God can use to provide encouragement and hope. Whether we are in another country, like Ecuador, or in our home communities, we can wholeheartedly serve our patients via our nursing careers, trusting God to be at work in our patients' lives as we seek to be a reflection of Christ.
Extreme Response International. (2012). Empowering women living in extreme conditions. Retrieved from http://www.extremeresponse.org/our-programs/womens-advocacy
The Butterfly Effect
Andy Andrews wrote The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters (2010), which explores how every action we take is important, that small causes may have momentous effects. Our every moment matters! Born out of meteorology, the Butterfly Effect states that a very small change in a weather system can lead to significantly different outcomes. It metaphorically captures the idea that a butterfly can flap its wings, and the air molecules that move as a result cause other air molecules to move, which cause other air molecules to move, and due to the additive effect, a hurricane could develop on the other side of the world. The Butterfly Effect (n.d.) actually is a law of physics used in chaos theory, defined as the law of sensitive dependents on initial conditions.
Andrews (2010) tells the story of Norman Borlaug, who developed drought-resistant corn that has saved billions of people from starvation. Borlaug was influenced by Henry Wallace, who was influenced by George Washington Carver, who was influenced by Moses and Susan Carver. The small choices made by each resulted in the saving of billions of people.
How might your actions today cause a butterfly effect tomorrow, next month, or even years from now? Throughout biblical teachings, we find this idea that every moment matters. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17, ESV). Every moment matters. Every work, every deed. Everything.
Andrews A. (2010). The Butterfly Effect: How your life matters. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Butterfly effect. (n.d.). American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/butterfly+effect
Go Use Your Wings
If interested in hearing Andy Andrews share how the butterfly effect played out in Norman Borlaug's life, watch the YouTube video: The ButterflyEffect by Andy Andrews (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo6fBAT8f-s). Then go use your wings!