Who, Me? Serve?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SERVE as each receives a gift, serve 1 Peter 4  10

Who, Me? Serve?

I’ve been doing this being-kind-thing pretty much daily now for more than ten months. This is the eleventh month, can you believe it? And still, in the morning, I occasionally wake up with the barely-formed intention, “Who, me? Serve? You’ve got to be kidding . . . “

And yet, I find myself in similar positions on a regular basis. I mean, helping positions. Ways of being kind. Situations where I naturally fall into ways to be of service. I mean, using my gifts. I am going to help officiate at a funeral service this weekend. And, I am using not only the gifts and graces I have been given and have developed in the past years, but I am also playing the piano. And, I am so, so happy to have been asked.

Here’s the verse I chose for November – 1 Peter 4:10 “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.”

I haven’t been playing the piano very much lately. I mean, in the past few months. I just haven’t been, that’s all. So, I really appreciate the relatives of the dear senior who died to ask whether I might be able to play. As well as officiate. Actually, co-officiate. My good friend and fellow pastor will be preaching, but I will be doing just about everything else.

Let me come back to playing the piano. I’ve been doing that for decades. Literally. Piano playing was one gift I had that was obvious to everyone, even as a teenager. I became one of the accompanists for the mixed chorus at my high school. I accompanied off and on, into my twenties. And then, I started to flex my leadership muscle in different ways. Branching out, not only playing the piano, but also leading songs. And music, generally. And teaching Sunday school.

My gifts and graces (just as Peter said, above) have been appreciated by so many. It’s wonderful to think of how many bible studies, Sunday school classes, small congregations, and other kinds of groups have benefitted from my service, over the years.

This coming weekend, my fellow pastor and I will lead in worship and witness to the Resurrection. Oh, and I had better practice a bit more on the piano. I want to do an especially excellent job. The dear senior well deserves the best of everything at the funeral service. God willing, I will be able to serve in this special way.

@chaplaineliza

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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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