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May be an image of food
Cucumbers from the garden for the food pantry.

Maybe it is because I grew up on stories of service to others. My father and uncles talked about rescuing lost and injured hikers from the Davis Mountains in West Texas. I heard about my grandfather’s work as a lifeguard in Biloxi Bay. And they talked about my Grandmother’s Sunday dinners.

Sunday dinner as service? You know it. The family was poor but there was always room for one more person at the table. Biscuits could be stretched as could the pot of beans and various home grown vegetables. There was always food for whoever came to the table.

These stories came to mind when our pastor recently talked about service. He acknowleged the fatigue that we all have living during a pandemic. Yet, he encouraged us to get out and serve others. After all, our church offers three opportunities a month as we give out sack suppers or boxes of food from the local foodbank.

Admittedly, I didn’t really feel like doing it. It is hot and humid and and and . . .

But my husband got us all in the car and off we went. We spent three hours packaging up sack suppers and handing them out to passers by. We chatted with parents who just needed a break. There was a bus rider with vision problems who needed a bit of human connection. We even encountered one of the mom’s from the swim team my son used to belong to. Serving others helped us connect with our community. That’s #1.

Several days later, I found myself working in the community garden, again beside my husband. With all the rain we’ve been having, every other week we have to pull should-high grass from the various beds. We work for about an hour in the sunshine. We listen to birdsong. We wave to preschool teachers, landscapers and others off in the distance. When we are done, I feel so much more relaxed. Whether I’m packaging up food or working in the garden, service gets me off screen. And, really? How can that possibly be a bad thing. That’s #2.

Last week, our book club discussed Faith by Jimmy Carter. I expected the book to be about his Christian faith, and it was. But it was also about his faith in humanity. And service because, as he explained, how can you BELIEVE and not feel compelled to reach out. Service isn’t essential to salvation, grace takes care of that, but really? If you believe, service is an expression of that belief.

And, that, my friends is #3. Service shows others what you believe.

It’s been almost a week and I have to tell you. I’m finding myself once again drawing inward. It is time to get back out there to serve.

–SueBE

Last week, I watched a TED talk with a psychologist who joked about the tendency medical school students have to think they have whatever illness they are studying.  Specifically, the joked that his brother-in-law believed he had leprosy but that was only after worrying for a week that he had menopause.

The reality is that if we focus on something that is what we are going to find.  So how great a stretch is it to wonder if that is also what we will create?

I’m not saying that we should ignore injustice, poverty and hunger.  Don’t even go there!  We can’t address what we refuse to see.

But to work toward a solution, we have to believe a solution is possible.  We won’t reach for what we believe cannot exist. It is up to those of us who believe in the Light and Love of Christ to let others know what we see, what we believe in, and what we are working for every day.

–SueBE

 

Sometimes the tasks that God sets before us seem impossible.  The job is too big.  There are just too many things demanding your attention. The possibilities of failure surround you.

But He has given us all talents.  Sometimes the talents in a group overlap.  PrayPower?  Look at us and you’d think the world was all writers but even our talents are diverse.  Miss Ruth’s ability to tell it like it is while inspiring others to believe knows no equal. Lori’s talent in spinning a poem in tough times about tough topics astounds me.

The task may be great.  But believe in yourself. You have mighty talents and God will send you helpers.

Believe.

–SueBE

What does your life say about your beliefs?  

Pastor Sean is one of the kindest people that I know.  He’s patient with the children.  He’s a listening ear for the aged.  He visits the sick.  He reaches out in our community.  He is also one of the first people to remind you to filter what you are experiencing or worrying about through God’s love.  It is God’s love he is sharing far and wide and it is easy to see this in his action.

One of my new friends, Ellie, brings our attention to mentions of the Earth in prayer, song, and scripture.  Banners, bulletin boards and more catch her attention.  She is a tireless advocate for the charge God gave us to care for His Creation.  No one can know Ellie for 10 minutes without knowing this.

Social justice, education, relief from needless stress.  Health, trying new things, quiet help.  All of these things and more are where various friends place their passion and their faith.  And each is obvious from how they live.

Just something to consider as we go about our days.

–SueBE

 

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