Little efforts bring great rewards
November 11, 2013My husband, a Navy hospital corpsman, recently came to the realization that there has been something missing in his life so he set out to make a change, one that would fill that empty spot in his heart. He took a job as a home health aide, caring for a 75-year old paraplegic two nights a week. His first night after work, he came home full of stories about the woman he just met 12 hours before, by the way he was talking and telling stories, I would have thought he knew her a lifetime, not just a few hours.
As a nurse, Andy has a compassionate nature and as we quickly found out, taking care of patients was that thing missing from his life. He currently is serving in a teaching capacity for the Navy which doesn't allow for hands-on interactions with patients so his new part-time job is filling a void that he has had in his life for a very long time.
The Bible tells us service to others is something we should all do on a regular basis, but so many of us barely have time for our own families, let alone to minister to others needs. However, in 1 John 3:18, the Bible tells us, "Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."
Andy went to work on Sunday and before he left asked me if I would mind making meatloaf and bringing some to him and his patient for dinner. He doesn't really ask me for much, so even though I had a list of things a mile long that I needed to accomplish, I agreed to his request.
After he left, I finished up my morning coffee and made my way to the kitchen where I began cooking breakfast for the kids. I have no idea what came over me, but the simple eggs and bacon breakfast I had planned quickly grew into a huge buffet including biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls and waffles with heated syrup. I told the kids what their dad had asked me to do and everyone wanted in on the action. After breakfast was over and the mess was cleaned up, we made three kinds of cookies and homemade pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon spice frosting. After we finished baking, we peeled eight pounds of potatoes for mashed potatoes and made two meatloaves with green beans and more biscuits.
The whole time we cooked, the laundry sat, articles didn't get written and floors never got swept, but we sure had fun. When we finished, the kitchen looked like something out of a horror movie, but the kids were smiling and a nice dinner was packed for Andy and his patient. I left the mess and delivered a piping hot meatloaf dinner to a bed-ridden woman whom I had never met. When I dropped it off she was tickled to death to have my company for a few short minutes and was even happier to have meatloaf, something she loves but hadn't had in a very long time.
When Andy got home we sat and talked as we always do, rehashing our day and discussing how the events that occurred affected us. The kids felt good about themselves because they had done something nice for a total stranger, Andy felt fulfilled because he now gets to do something he loves to do and I felt an inner peace I hadn't felt since I left my Faith in Action group behind in Georgia almost a year ago. As we sat and talked he reminded me that service to others is the greatest thing a person can do with their time. He told me that he remembered a quote from Proverbs, (19:17) "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed."
I knew when Andy quoted that particular verse that our gracious and heavenly Father had already repaid me for my good deed. The kids were happy because of our day together in the kitchen and they had learned something of value, how good it feels when you help another; my husband had found his lost happiness and I was at peace and content with it all.
So why not take a little bit of time out of your busy schedule this week and do something unexpected for someone less fortunate? While it may seem like a bit of a chore at first, I can tell you from first-hand experience, the reward for helping someone else is surely worth the effort.
Thought for the week, Nov. 13
"The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
those who help others are also helped." Proverbs 11:25
A lifestyle of helping others inevitably inspires others to do the same.
Pastor Bill Trok, Ridgeview Church