Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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Giants of Joy

Editorial by Terry Forde

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Sir Isaac Newton

Have you ever seen a giant? I remember once watching a doctor who squatted down so that she could be at eye level with a young patient – there was lots of nodding and hand motions and then suddenly a jubilant fist- bump! Whatever the discussion, they now understood each other and celebrated their trust. The conversation was transformed by a provider who was giant in creating connection to find joy.

Another time, I saw a young man leaving one of our hospitals who looked up to see an older man get caught in a gust of wind and have a paper fly out of his hand. Quickly, the young man went chasing after the paper and brought it back. “Here you go” was all he said, but there were smiles that stayed on both faces as they continued on their individual ways. Once again, it sure looked to me like I had stumbled upon a giant in spreading joy.

Once you start noticing them, you realize that there are giants everywhere, shutting out distractions and giving their full attention to another person like a gift. They are giants at being empathetic, seeking to understand and share another’s life and perspective in ways that give rise to relationship and joy. They are giants at serving, helping out in large and small ways. They are giants at sharing knowledge and skills. They are giants at affirming when they could have just as easily been critical. They are giants at saying “I’m sorry,” or “I accept your apology.” They are particularly good at saying, “How can I help?” They are giants at opening their hearts and extending their hands.

How do we fulfill our Mission of extending God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing? We do it by standing on the shoulders of giants – by being inspired by their acts of kindness and connection so that we also see opportunities for us to act as giants.

I invite you to take a moment to look around you – giants of joy can be found throughout our AHC family, working together to provide hope and healing. By being inspired to take action ourselves, we can become giants for others.

Terry Forde is president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare.

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