Yesterday, the message hit home.
A friend who works in the kitchen of a large Christian facility not far from here ended up with serious burns on her foot when her supervisor, peplexed by a broken sprayer, decided to hurl boiling water across the floor instead. My friend, not aware of this dangerous condition, walked into the path just as he hurled five gallons of it at her.
After a painful debridement, she’s nursing her injury at home while workmen’s comp is paying her salary. Her supervisor appears to be out of a job. And the facility’s reputation just lost several notches in my mind.
As her mother said in a Facebook message last night, ” Boiling water from the kettle? REALLY? In 5 gallon buckets? THROWING it?? Don’t get the mama bear started!!!”
Yet it could have happened to any one of us.
In recent years, I’ve watched pained as Christian camps I’ve worked at have suffered trauma. A summer staff member at one camp drowned because, in part, he had an improperly affixed life preserver (about 10 years after a guest also drowned). A summer staffer at another camp died at the wheel of the camp truck when he apparently fell asleep while running an errand. A few years later, a staffer at that same camp was charged with trying to rape a young guest.
All mistakes that perhaps could have been prevented with more accountability, more questioning. More diligence.
“Here, let me check that life jacket on for you.” “If you’re too tired to drive, maybe you should rest first.” “We’d love to hire you, but we need a real extensive check of your references.”
And this one: “Um, chef, maybe throwing boiling water across the floor isn’t the best idea?”
Ours is not the job for shortcuts. Ours is not the job for carelessness.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” says Colossians 3:23.
With all your heart. Not for you. For your ministry. For your testimony.