I work as an Associate Dental Director for a community public health center. I see hundreds of patients each month on top of my administrative duties. It can be challenging and frequently exhausting. But in this work, I also see the face of Jesus.
In a clinic like mine, we are often the safety net for the community. We see those who have been forgotten by our health care system. By some people, they are dismissed as just a number in a sea of uninsured and impoverished people.
But, in them, I see the face of Jesus.
I see Him in the recovering addict who is missing half his teeth.
I see Him in the pregnant teenager who has bleeding and painful gums.
I see Him in the refugee, the immigrant, and her children.
I see Him in the woman who has been turned away by four other providers because she does not have insurance.
I see Him in those who yell at me and threaten to sue me.
I see Him in the elderly man who comes early to his appointment and stays late so he has someone to talk to.
How often are we stopping to recognize the face of Jesus in those we see?
Like in today’s Gospel, have we not recognized Elijah? (See Matthew 17:12.)
Each day before heading to work, I pray that I may find the face of Jesus in my patients and my coworkers.
Lord, may I see Your face in everyone I meet. May I treat them with kindness, compassion, respect, and honor. Amen.
Dr. Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife to Paul, mom to three little ones, and practices dentistry at a public health community center for low income families in the Bay Area, California. She (unashamedly) thinks ice cream is its own food group, does not leave the house without wearing sparkly earrings, and is an enthusiastic proponent of the Oxford comma. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. Find out more about her here.