Serving – Day 2
1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 (NIV)
I knew a woman who was only 4’9”; she had never been married or found her true love; she retired from teaching after 43 long years to her lonely, small, one bedroom home; by the time she reached her seventies, she was stooped over from osteoporosis and it was an effort to lift her head high enough to look folks in the eye to carry on a conversation. Hearing about her life would lead most of us to the conclusion that she had every right to be withdrawn and depressed. She would be someone that us Southern women would add “Bless her heart” to the end of any sentence in which her name came up. But instead, this humble tiny woman was larger than life and an inspiration to everyone who had the privilege to know her. She not only mentored countless children during her teaching career (and as a Sunday School teacher for three decades) but she spent every waking hour of her retirement years volunteering. At 93 years of age, she checked in books at the public library; she helped fold and apply address labels to 750 church newsletters every week; she delivered Meals on Wheels to the homebound and elderly (most of whom were younger than her!); and she was the person at the hospital who escorted outpatients to the lab, X-ray department, and to same day surgery so they would not get lost on the way; and that is just a few of the organizations and individuals that benefited from her selflessness.
She was the living example of Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” She chose to serve God by serving others because she understood that in doing so, she lifted their spirits and her own. Whenever I think of her, I remember her twinkling blue eyes that shimmered with delight and inner joy. I believe her ever present smile was born out of her true contentment with her life and the purpose she had found through her faith. Ephesians 6:7-8 says, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” I want to be like her, never a slave to my earthly circumstances, making every effort to lift my head and keep my eyes on the heavenly prize of eternal life where I can spend every hour praising my Lord and savior.
The hospital knew something was wrong when she did not show up for her volunteer shift promptly at 7:50 one morning…she had passed away in her sleep. She was 95 years old. I strive to be like my hero, a frail little woman who was determined that, as long as she had breath, she would serve.
- As it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, how can you acknowledge and show love and thanks to someone who works hard to serve and care for others in the name of the Lord?
- Pray for God’s prompting to lead you to the ministry area where you should serve. Volunteer then celebrate the “refreshing” feeling that comes when you serve wholeheartedly as if you are serving the Lord, not people.
Ministry Highlight: GRACE – Special Needs Ministry for children, youth and adults.
Our vision is to share the love of Jesus by providing an accepting, supportive, safe, and caring environment for individuals with special needs so they, and their families, can enjoy being actively involved in the life of the church. We are in need of more volunteers to serve as “shadows” to assist individuals according to their particular need. Training will be provided so education and prior experience are not necessary, just a desire to make a difference in the spiritual lives of individuals with special needs. Our ministry can also provide, upon request, interpretation for the deaf and hard of hearing during the 11:00 worship service at the Banks Mill Campus. People who can interpret music and the sermon are invited to volunteer. If you have any questions or are interested in serving as a shadow or interpreter, please contact Sherri Thomas at email@example.com or 803-649-3096 ext 103.
Click the picture below to view the PEACE Story