Helping Out—A Pinch Hitter?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, April 7, 2014

baseball players - metal art from Mexico

baseball players – metal art from Mexico

Helping Out—A Pinch Hitter?

It’s April again, and baseball season is again with us. I haven’t been to a major league game for several years, but I really enjoy a good game of baseball. (Of course, the team I’ve rooted for, ever since I was a girl, is the Chicago Cubs. But that’s a whole different matter. No joking comments, please.)

From time to time, I seem to be placed in a position where I need to step in at the last minute. You know, where I might need to speak, or teach, or facilitate, or drive, or – you name it. I’ve probably done it. I have training in several areas. A few years ago, I even thought of myself as a jack of all trades. (Or would that be a jill of all trades? Good question. But I digress.)

Another way to think of this kind of position is that of a pinch hitter. Sure, from time to time I have stepped up to the plate and competently taken a swing. I try to do my best, whatever I do! My conscientiousness helps a good deal here, too. I could tell you about some tricky situations, and a few times that ended up being tragic. But instead, I’m going to focus on today. I stepped up to the plate here at home, and helped out the contractor to the best of my ability. On the phone, walking all over the building, doing an errand. And then some. (Here I thought that getting a new vanity, sink and wall tile was just a simple, straightforward job. Little did I know . . . )

And later, I talked with a friend. He and I were going to meet tomorrow morning before a meeting. But not now! Not with his dripping nose and scratchy throat! So, I can certainly substitute for him and do a competent job facilitating the group.

God, I get the feeling that You’re trying to show me something with this blog post. You don’t need to worry about being a pinch hitter. You’re a superstar. You could blow everyone away with Your batting, fielding, throwing and pitching talent! But what about me? How do I fit in?

I know You love me, God. Thanks a lot! (I really mean that, very, very much. Despite my humorous, sometimes offhand way of communicating.) But what if You want me to keep on helping out? Doing what I can. Stepping up to the plate when I need to, filling the need when necessary. Maybe this is another way of You showing Your love for me—by giving me opportunities to serve You, in any one of a number of ways.

I wonder what You’ll send my way tomorrow? I bet it will be interesting, whatever it is! Thanks for helping me handle it, too.

@chaplaineliza

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Be Kind in a Grocery Store

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, March 3, 2014

BK kindness is contagious

Be Kind in a Grocery Store

Brand new month. Bright, shiny snow. I went on some errands for a friend of mine today. I needed to go to the pharmacy, and to the grocery store. Wonderful opportunity to be kind to someone today!

After I picked up a few things at the pharmacy, including two prescriptions, I went across the street to the discount grocery store. I do enjoy shopping—it’s almost always a pleasant experience. I entered the store and found some new displays—seasonal items on sale near the doors. It’s so interesting to see what items will be featured at this cut-rate store.

It didn’t take me long at all to dash in to the store, grab a few items, and proceed towards the front of the store to check out. I needed to wait for several people in line ahead of me. In fact, I was waiting in line for quite some time. That was okay. I didn’t mind. But as I was standing there, waiting patiently in line, the older man in front of me said that I could go ahead of him, in line. A bit flabbergasted, I soon picked my jaw up from the floor.

I gathered myself together. Shook myself (almost like a trained animal or something), and said “Thank you! Thanks so much!” I smiled at the man, and walked over to the head of the line. I knew he had been in line there for more of a long time, at least longer than I did. Funny thing—I kept telling myself that I was out of place. Almost subversive, like I was doing an action that felt somehow like I was “cutting” in line. Good thing I had someone like that kind man offering his slot to me. Gracious at last, I did take the older man up on his welcome offer.

Another quirky thing: I had the strangest feeling that I would go ahead and try to pay it forward. I mean, I would try to offer my place in line (waiting for the cashier) instead of focusing on myself, front and center. I don’t want to let things go, paying attention to nothing and no one but myself. I need to think of others . . . and be intentionally kind.

What about you? Have you ever had someone offer you a place in a line—like what happened to me? Has someone been unexpectedly kind and thoughtful to you, so much so that you intend to pay back the kind act of service? I keep thinking that God will send me some interesting thoughts, not to mention some service opportunities. I’ve been praying for them!

As we enter the season of Lent, I pray the same for you—whether you are participating with the calendar 40 Days & Ways to Be Kind, or not. I encourage everyone to pray for service opportunities. And then, don’t be concerned! God will send them your way! I know God has sent me any number of opportunities to be kind. Praise God, get ready, set—serve!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.