Being of Service, Even Though I Had a Splinter . . .

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, August 20, 2014

little things

Being of Service, Even Though I Had a Splinter . . .

Today was a busy day. Lots to do at work, with a sermon to block out and outline, but email to answer. Calls to return, even some paperwork to take care of. (Yes, there’s still paperwork. The church has not gone paperless yet.) Plus, I am still helping my daughter get ready for move-in day on Friday. I did three loads of laundry between late last night and early this morning. Almost all for her, I may add.

Yes, that was my big task of being kind for today. But I needed to prepare for tomorrow, too. I am participating in a hymn sing at a senior residence facility in Chicago in the afternoon. I am going to play the piano and lead the seniors in hymns and gospel songs. I am looking forward to this, very much! It will be so good to see many of these seniors again.

But—I’m not there yet. I was still at my church this afternoon, handling some necessary things, on the computer. I sat at my desk. The desk is large. Wooden. Mostly plain, except with a rather fancy edge trim, all around the top. Little lip, inset, out again, and then straight down for about half an inch. I must admit, I never really thought about that edge before. That is, not until this afternoon. Not until I happened to bump my left hand against that little lip. My hand was on its way up to the laptop computer keyboard, I got distracted, and bump! I ended up with a tiny sliver in the tip of my middle finger. That sliver? About one quarter of an inch long.

I ended up spending almost an hour getting the sliver out. I went to the kindergarten teacher (it was nap time). I asked whether they had a needle anywhere around. No. Only a set of plastic tweezers. I searched in the church office, just about everywhere. Finally, I found a pin. A large pin with a decorative head, probably used for securing a corsage. At least it was sharp! I washed the point off with soap and water and proceeded to pick at the splinter. I finally removed it, bit by bit.

That little splinter totally preoccupied my mind for almost an hour. Such a little bit of a thing was huge in my mind and my feelings.

All this time, I dearly wanted to practice the piano. I haven’t played for a number of days, and I wanted my fingers at least a little limber, to be better able to play tomorrow afternoon.

Yes, I did finally practice. And yes, I did continue helping my daughter pack, and get ready to leave. Being kind, and being of service. Preparing for more service to come.

Now, God, there’s still the matter of that sermon . . .

@chaplaineliza

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In Which I Meet New Friends!

A Year of Being Kind blog –Saturday, June 14, 2014

friends who ask about you and then really listen

In Which I Meet New Friends!

Today was a busy day! Met with friends for breakfast, then over to the library. I went to the Y to exercise, took a gander over to the little shops near the El train, and caught the El to go back home. And that was just until about 12:30 in the afternoon! I kept on going, busy doing—working—writing. And on top of everything, I had a meet-up with more friends, this evening. (!!!)

These people were people I had never met before. (As my children would say, IRL—that is, in real life.) I knew a mutual friend who has since moved to the west coast, who introduced me into this online community. This community had all attended the same Christian college, and we all shared some common interests. A select group, to be sure! I had communicated regularly with many of them over social media, but hadn’t met them in the flesh. Until tonight.

I was excited. Going into the north side of Chicago, to one of the lakefront communities. The street was hopping! Full of night life, and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. Me, included! At least, I was fully expecting to have a great time. Through social media, we had all agreed on a meeting place. I mean, a restaurant and bar where we would all rendezvous.

I don’t often hit the bar scene. Now that I’m officially middle-aged, and everything, it just doesn’t have quite the same attraction. (I also noticed all the people working at the restaurant were the age of my children.) But that’s neither here nor there.

As I went into the place, I noticed this joint was jumping. I just naturally put my best foot forward. My best chaplainly attitude, also. This served me well in talking with several staff. I gave my name to wait for a larger table, and went to the door to wait some more. But it didn’t take very long. In no time I had met up with the online community! There were a few moments of hesitancy, and getting to know each other, but we all were talking together comfortably. Soon, regular rounds of laughter and general hilarity overtook our table. Amazing what can happen with the assistance and aid of social media!

In no time at all, I had acquired several new friends. Yay, me!

So, how was I kind today? Through my genial, friendly smile, of course! And my open and welcoming attitude. This is so natural for me, as I think of being a chaplain. Wow, I am going to need to get used to thinking of myself as a pastor, too. My smile and attitude is a good pastorly thing to have, too!

@chaplaineliza

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