A Helpful Errand

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Helpful Errand

When I started this blog, I had few expectations. (On purpose!) I tried—and continue to try—to have few expectations. With 365 days of service, I want God to bring along things that will sometimes take me by surprise. Get me enthused. Even make me uncomfortable. I know it’s putting myself out on a limb, but I have earnestly prayed to have that happen. The frigid, wintry weather has certainly been interesting the past few days, and I have had no problem finding ways to be of service.

I helped a younger person go to and from a medical outpatient procedure today, and hung around for a few hours after returning to their home. (Because of HIPAA and related issues, I am hesitant to say much more about specifics—even though I am not working in any official capacity for this younger person, still. Good, ingrained habits need to be maintained.) This procedure was something I had known about for several weeks. I just didn’t expect the weather to be so uncooperative. However, with the car warmed up and our destination not far away, the trip to and fro was fairly easy. Straight-forward. And the young person is now resting comfortably.

This whole process of running to and from a medical procedure (or a doctor’s or dentist’s office) put me in mind of previous times I did much the same thing. I have the spiritual gift of helping (you can read more about helps at this website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_gift ), among other gifts. So, I naturally gravitate towards doing helpful, encouraging things for people. Like taking my elderly aunt to the doctor or dentist, or fetching prescription medication for my older mom. I consider such errands to be opportunities to be kind to relatives. More importantly, being with my relatives (or friends, or acquaintances) gives me a chance to be in relationship with them.

Some years ago, I often had my small children with me when I traveled around Chicago on these kinds of errands. Such a wonderful opportunity for my children to connect with their older relatives! Now, my children are adults, or nearly. They still occasionally talk about or remember times when we went to Grandma’s house, or Auntie’s apartment. I am glad I gave them the gift of being with their senior relatives. And to think, all this came from me being willing to drive my car and go on errands. Taking my aunt to a regular medical exam, or picking up something from the pharmacy.

Being kind and tenderhearted benefits me too. (See Ephesians 4:32, for further information.) I was not only providing a service, I also was kind and tenderhearted, as the Apostle Paul directs. Plus, I was doing service pleasing to God. That’s been important to me for a long time. Still is, often. I try to be obedient to God, clearing the way for a close vertical relationship with God. And that paves the way for a clear, close relationship to other people, on a horizontal plane.

It all works, somehow. Thanks, God! Help me find some way to serve You tomorrow, too.

lego medical center

@chaplaineliza

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Being A Chauffeur

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, January 4, 2014

Being A Chauffeur

picture credit Tom Brown

picture credit Tom Brown

I met together with several friends this morning. Earlier this week I offered to chauffeur a senior friend of mine to and from the get-together. Accordingly, I pulled up in front of her apartment at the appointed time. We had a wonderful time in the car, going both to and fro, not to mention a good time of conversation and laughter with our friends.

What a small thing, agreeing to pick up a friend and transport them. Sure, I’ve sometimes done that before. (In my twenties and thirties I drove commercially, including driving a school bus for some years.) I like driving and am good at it. It’s certainly not a difficult thing for me to do. However, with my busy and haphazard schedule for the past few years, I just have not been chauffeuring people much.

Or is it that I haven’t taken the time to offer people rides?

This train of thought led me down a similar path to yesterday’s post. Who is my neighbor? By extension, who am I to offer rides to? I know, I know. I’m already feeling the conviction in my heart. Yes, God. I know You have graciously allowed me and my husband to purchase a good (used) car, and moreover, provided us with money to keep the car in good repair. I am so grateful, really I am! Therefore, You are not asking too much of me to be kind with my car. With a sturdy car like we own, I can pick up or drop off people, run errands or help people out by carting things around. Plus, I make a point of keeping in fairly good shape. (I have adult children—figure out my approximate age from there.) So, I can fetch and carry most things without too much difficulty. This helps with the carting-things-around-part.

Being kind to people seems to be a natural outgrowth to me and my way of thinking and acting. It’s when the kindness is reversed that I get taken aback, and find myself off kilter. What if the shoe were on the other foot? What if I were in need of transportation, or didn’t have access to my car, or sick in the hospital, or immobilized at home? You get the picture. I hope and pray that—number one—I would be willing to call people and ASK for help, and—number two—be gracious enough to RECEIVE the help freely offered and given. After all, I need to give others the opportunity to be of service, too.

During the past few months, a number of people have been gracious to me. Encouraging, helpful, loving, kind. It’s funny. I hadn’t fully thought it out before. But, because of various people and their kindness and graciousness to me, this is part of the reason I am where I am today. Doing what I’m doing, which is 365 days of intentional service.

Chauffeuring is a great start to the year! Let’s see what tomorrow will bring. God, help me be open, willing and ready.

@chaplaineliza