While I was walking this morning, I was reflecting on a quotation from the woman who founded the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
With God, what we do is less important than how we do it.
Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, SSND
She said those words a century ago, but they speak to my heart today.
At the Incarnate Word Foundation I see many agencies working to serve those in need. Those of us in the funding world pressure them to show measurable outcomes. We want to know that they are effective in delivering services, that they measure their progress toward goals in quantifiable ways, that they are efficient in their use of resources. In response, agency leaders develop elaborate logic models and hire consultants to create service delivery systems.
And while good stewardship is necessary and important, the danger in that is an over-emphasis on what is being done rather than how it is being done.
Are we grounding what we do in compassion, love and respect?
Are we taking time to listen with our heart?
Are we walking with them on their journey?
Do we sit and hold a woman’s hand?
Do we see the spark of the Divine in each person?
So often we focus on getting things done, on accomplishments and outcomes. While we may reach every benchmark, we can lose the love and humanity that should be present whenever we are with others.
Because with God, what we do is less important than how we do it.