April 6th is a very emotional day for my wife and me. On that date in 1986, (over 30 years ago this year!) our oldest son was born. Within hours of his delivery, our son was transferred to the Medical College of Virginia where, after many tests, it was determined that he had been born with a rare and aggressive type of cancer.  The prognosis was not good. Suddenly, our world turned upside down...our joy turned to sadness; our elation to despair and our pride became pain. At the time, I was working in Human Resources for a large investor owned utility. Thankfully, my boss was a very compassionate and caring man. I’ll never forget that day between diagnosis and surgery when I tried to come back to work.  He kicked me out of his office and told me to go home and devote all of my time and energy towards my wife and child. He told me not to worry about my job, my workplace responsibility or my calendar. His genuine and exceptional concern was heartfelt and it released me to care for my family. With his actions, he taught me what it means to care for a teammate and, to this day, I am deeply indebted to him.   

Are you in a position of leadership? If so, consider my bosses response to my personal crisis. He demonstrated the love of Christ in a very practical way. Jesus said, a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35). This man loved me in a Christ-like way at a time when I needed it most. Upon my return to work, I was a better employee, more loyal to my job and to the company. What’s more, over thirty-five years later, I am still testifying to God’s wonderful provision through my employer during a very dark time in my life. The Bible commands that we love and care for others. Philippians 2:4 says, let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. The principle of caring for employees is not only commanded but is at the heart of establishing a culture where people are valued, appreciated, productive and respected. Caring for others flows out of our faith and our love for the Lord. We care for others because He cares for and loves us.

Now for the “rest of the story”…after extensive surgery at 3 days old, God miraculously healed our son from his cancer.  Today, I’m still very grateful for the exceptional care shown to my wife and I many years ago. Your workplace challenge is to look for ways to show practical and exceptional care to others in your workplace. Do it for His Glory.