I Need a Little Help from My Friends—with a Vacuum Cleaner?

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Wednesday, February 11, 2015

As I said in this Best Of post, I enjoy helping out. I do have the spiritual gifts of helps. (Yes, it’s true.) Reading through this post, I see I did a kind thing here. You could do something kind, too!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, February 10, 2014

vintage doll vacuum cleaner

vintage doll vacuum cleaner


I Need a Little Help from My Friends—with a Vacuum Cleaner?

I took the opportunity to be kind today, in several ways. But the one that stuck in my mind was being kind by vacuuming. One problem—but I’ll get to that, later.

Let me back up. I often have the chance to do things for senior citizens. Lots of different things, like shopping, errands, doing the dishes, vacuuming. I’ve said before that I have the gift of helps. I’ve noticed this gift from a very early age. I liked doing things for people, and often doing things for older people. At church, in the neighborhood, even on the bus or in a store. I would often happen upon older people who have dropped their keys, or their glove, or their shopping list, so I picked it up for them. Or, I pass by a senior citizen in a mall parking lot who was trying to load their bags into their car. I helped out there, too.

I know I’ve talked in this blog before about an older friend of mine who works for a large senior citizen facility here in this suburb. She told me a few years ago, “You ought to have ‘Good with seniors’ printed on your forehead. Because, you are!” I must admit, yes. Yes, I am. It’s true.

This led me to reflect, how would the Bible tell me to act toward seniors? As I reflected further, I realized that there are several specific verses that I can think of, telling me how to behave in an appropriate manner with elders. One I’ll mention is Leviticus 19:32, which tells its readers to stand up before (or, honor) “the gray head” ( i.e., seniors). Biblically speaking, older people are supposed to be respected and cared for. (This led me to think of the seniors who are sadly warehoused in today’s society. But that’s a subject for another blog post.)

So, I took this opportunity to be kind to a senior today. I vacuumed. Except, I had a bit of a problem. I had never used this particular vacuum cleaner before. At first, I thought there was some idiosyncracy with the vacuum. However, I opened it up and checked the bag on the inside. Yup. It was full. Rats! I wasn’t sure where the extra bags were kept. What to do? I really wanted to take care of this chore, and the vacuum cleaner simply wasn’t working properly.

The next thing I knew, a new acquaintance of mine helped me out. Together, we were able to find the bag, struggled to get the bag replaced in the upright cleaner (tricky fit!), and I finished up the task. Much better now! Without that help, without the teamwork, I would have had a lot of difficulty finishing the vacuuming. It seems like a little thing, but it stuck in my head. I was grateful! And, I said thank you.

It’s good to be working together, helping each other out. I do need a little help from my friends and acquaintances, I must admit. I ask for help more often, now. I’m not too proud. At least, most of the time.


(Suggestion: visit me at my daily blog for 2015: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers. Thanks!)

Of Service to Seniors—at Two Retirement Homes!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BK be kind be kind be kind

Of Service to Seniors—at Two Retirement Homes!

Ever help out seniors? Ever be of service? This afternoon, I had the opportunity to do just that. At two retirement centers, not just one!

The first retirement home was a regularly scheduled visit. Yes, I preached again at this particular home. This retirement center was where I had some of the formative experiences of my budding ministerial identity. I not only preached and led the midweek service, but I also took several of the residents to and from the chapel. Someone joked that I not only had to preach, but I also had to transport people. I did him one better, and said I needed to go to the highways and byways and gather up a congregation.

I do enjoy working with older people. As I mentioned at least once before in this space, i was told by one of the administrative staff at one of this center’s other locations that I ought to have “Good with seniors” tattooed on my forehead. I must admit, this kind, loving behavior is one of my strong suits.

But, wait! There’s more! I sat at the table in the chaplain’s office after the service, after all the residents had gone back to their home floors Sure enough, I found my calendar/notebook, and made several calls to relatives of my parishioners. The most touching part about these telephone calls is that when I asked whether I might be able to visit this parishioner, one of the adult children of this senior assured me that the senior would be so happy if I were to visit. And this second visit was one that was on the spur of the moment.

I did need to drive a bit, in order to get to the second senior retirement home. And when I signed in, asking who I was there to see? Wow! I felt I was really of service, at both of these homes for seniors.

I wonder. God, I wonder whether I would have any visitors, if I were in a similar position? It is difficult for me to tell. I have visited at a senior residence where I’ve overheard the staff talking about one or two residents: “ . . . and imagine! Never to have anyone stop by?” (much clucking of tongues, shaking of heads) Yes, I do wonder whether anyone might come and visit me in the future senior residence, if I should live so long. The staff can tell, and they keep track. They remember.

God, I know You remember, too. Each and every one, regardless of whether anyone comes to visit them. Thanks.


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Kindness on a Sunday? Of Course!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, May 4, 2014

Great is Your faithfulness Lam 3-23

Kindness on a Sunday? Of Course!

Happy Sunday! This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Sure, today was Sunday. One of my busiest days of the week, given my new position. Since I am working with a co-pastor, I did not have to preach this morning. However, I still had the responsibilities for the music and prayers at church. And, since this was the first Sunday of the month, my co-pastor and I served communion.

Wonderful service this morning! My co-pastor and I are a great team—we support each other and one picks up right where the other leaves off.

One extra special feature of today’s service: we had two visitors. Relatives of a couple in our church. There had been an extra special birthday celebration yesterday at our church. A precious, older relative had a birthday. According to the report, there were seventy people at the big party. She’s in her nineties, and she and her daughter were guests at our church this morning. Such a special occasion. Such a lovely, sweet lady.

As I know I’ve mentioned, I’ve talked in this blog before about an older friend of mine who works for a large senior citizen facility here in this suburb. She told me a few years ago, “You ought to have ‘Good with seniors’ printed on your forehead. Because, you are!” I must admit, yes, I am. It’s true. I am drawn to seniors, coming alongside of them. Talking with them, and even more important, listening to them. Really listening, and responding to them from my heart.

So after the service ended this morning, I took the opportunity to go to the two visitors. First, I talked with the daughter. I thanked her for coming to the service, and especially for bringing her mother. Then, I had the precious chance to talk with this dear senior. I got down on her level, and talked with her in her wheelchair. She was so open, and so grateful for the birthday celebration. She told me about her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren—and even great-great-grandchildren. So many of them had attended the party the day before.

I couldn’t help but ask her if I could give her a hug. She said “of course!” Her eyes started to tear up. So did mine. We hugged, I smiled at her again, and she even asked me for another hug. I had the sudden feeling that I could please God (not to mention this sweet lady), and so I prayed with her briefly. She was so happy at that! She sincerely blessed me. I appreciate her blessing so much.

God, bless this dear senior, and bless her whole family. Draw the many family members together in love, support, and mutual encouragement. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.


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