Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

‘Dirty Jobs’ Turned into Meaningful Callings

When a researcher started interviewing hospital workers—the people who cleaned out the patients’ rooms each day she assumed they would only have bad things to say about it. That was partially true, but she also found a second group of workers with the same jobs who felt their labor was highly skilled.

They described the work in “rich relational terms,” talking about their interactions with patients and visitors. Many of them reported going out of their way to learn as much as possible about the patients whose rooms they cleaned. “It was not just that they were taking the same job and feeling better about it … It was that they were doing a different job.”

This group didn’t see themselves as custodial workers at all. One described forming such a bond with patients that she continued to write letters to some of them after they were discharged. Another paid attention to which patients seemed to have few visitors or none and would make sure to double back to spend some time with them. They said things like, “I’m an ambassador for the hospital” or, “I’m a healer. My role here is to do everything I can to promote the healing of the patients.”

One woman told how she rotated the art in the rooms of coma patients. She would take paintings down in one room and putting them up in another. The woman explained that it was at least possible that a change in scenery might spark something in their comatose brains.

These workers were quietly creating the work that they wanted to do out of the work that they had been assigned to do. The researchers called them “job crafters.”

Related Sermon Illustrations

Six Ways People Find Meaning in Work

American essayist, historian, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau wrote: "It is not enough to be industrious. So are the ants." The British science magazine New Scientist recently ...

[Read More]

Man Showed Up 13,000 Times for Broadway Play

The final curtain fell on the longest-running show in Broadway history after 13,981 performances. Alan Lampel has been there for roughly 13,000 of them. Mr. Lampel has done the same ...

[Read More]