Many of you have likely heard the expression, "Be the hands of God." I have always taken this to mean that when we do something for someone, we are being the physical hands of God. He uses us to bring about blessing to His children.

But what does this mean, in practical terms?

There is a patient in the chronic care hospital where I work who spends her day screaming. After hearing this day in and day out, you can imagine how tired the staff become of this particular patient, and how little she is liked.

I was working with this patient one day, and I am ashamed to admit that I was cringing, fearful of when the screaming would start, wishing I could be somewhere else. My eye then roamed over the head of her bed to the bulletin board, where there were several pictures of young people. They were obviously siblings, and obviously the children of our screaming patient. My mind went quickly back to what I had learned about this patient: Besides being a mother, she had been a pastor’s wife. My mouth gaped open as I took a moment to stare at my patient. How could she have been a pastor’s wife?

But then, why not?

And suddenly God spoke clearly into my mind: "She did much for the Kingdom when she still could. She raised godly children, she faithfully supported her husband as he did My work, and she has touched countless lives for Me. Now I am caring for her!"

"...And now You’ve put her in my hands!" I stated quietly, suddenly humbled by the responsibility God had given me. My eyes teared over as my hand began to stroke her hair. "When I care for her," I continued, aloud, "I am caring for someone who is very, very valuable in Your eyes!"

Then came that clear impression in my mind, the voice of God: "When you care for her, you are being MY hands!"

I stood there for several moments more, just stroking the hair of this dear lady as I began to realize how every patient under my care had a past, every patient was precious to God, and when I cared for any of them, I was caring for something of very high value in God’s eyes. And suddenly I realized what it meant to be the "hands of God." It meant that I was to follow the example of our Lord and Saviour, when He was here on Earth, and do good to my fellow man. When I do, I am acting as God's hands on Earth.

But then, aren't we told that when we do good to others, it is like we're doing it to God Himself?

"'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'" (Matt 25:37-40 NKJV)

I can truthfully tell you that my attitude towards this patient, as well as every other patient on my floor, changed at that moment. I no longer see my job as only a means of supporting my family. I now try to see each patient as God does, and I use it as an opportunity to be God’s hands on Earth.

I can only pray that this lesson will carry over into every aspect of my life, that I will begin to seek out all opportunities to be used as "the hands of God." I know that my life will be richer and happier as a result!

In His love,

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.