The word service as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary has many meanings including contribution to the welfare of others and a meeting for worship. We can provide a service, we can receive a service and we can attend a service. All great, but I love the fact it is better to give than to receive. The word says “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45). Serving provides many health benefits such as a longer lifespan, greater happiness, better pain management, created meaningful thankfulness and blesses the person you are serving. When we stop focusing on ourselves and focus on others will provide great benefits to our health and the health of others.
I grew up in a family that loves to serve, and that is what I learned and I have taught my children. My parents are very giving, cooking meals for others, inviting guest’s home. My in-laws are very hospitable, always opening their home to college students, and visitors to the area. I definitely am surrounded with great service teachers.
In my early years’ serving others for me included: visiting, singing and reading the Bible to AIDS patients, blind seniors, patients at hospitals and youth in a correctional facilities. I would look forward to meeting my church youth group every week for our local mission work. It was such a rewarding experience. The people receiving the visit would be so grateful and happy for those few minutes that we spend with them. No questions asked, I only know that we made someone happy by sharing the love of God with them.
In my career as a public health servant I’ve had the opportunity to educate the community in different health topics, share resources for those without health insurance and just be available for any health questions or needs. I love to be a resource and help others. When it was time to have my own family (no longer a youth myself—sad to say), I continued making others a priority. Now with my children, they learned to use the talents God has given them for praising the Lord and reaching others. They have sung at hospitals and nursing homes. As a family we invite guests into our home and share meals with them, and this is something they look forward to do. They also use other skills and talents to just make a neighbor’s day a little brighter. Baking and sharing sweets, baking a cake for the new youth pastor, these are small details… how wonderful it is for them to see others smile.
There are so many different ways that we can help someone during our day, it doesn’t have to be anything big, simple details as you’ve heard can change someone’s day for the best. You’ve probably heard on the news or some people might tell you that someone paid for their coffee while at Starbucks, or the person in the car in front of them paid their toll or their grocery bill, going out of your way even when you are tired from work to take a co-worker home. Wouldn’t you love for someone to do that for you? Well, it’s even better when we do it for someone else.
Let’s make our goal to do a random act of kindness. A simple details goes a long way, even if you never get to know what the person thought, you do it because it feels good and we are following Jesus example. Give a rose to a mom on mother’s day, pray with a dad on father’s day, prepare a basket of food to share on thanksgiving, or wrap toys and deliver them to a needy family. We’ve had the opportunity to do this at our church’s Passion in Action ministry.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). Let’s light the world together!!!