Yesterday Scott and I joined several of our friends, standing under a gray sky holding brightly colored balloons. We listened carefully as the group organizer explained the schedule and purpose for our gathering. The juxtaposition of the big red and blue and green and orange balloons against the gray, cloudy sky matched the mood among those in attendance.
We were gathered — family and friends — to remember children lost far too soon.
As I hugged my friend Stephanie, tears flowed from our eyes. Matthew, her 18-year-old son, was tragically killed in a car accident in May. The wounds on her heart still fresh, she said, “I can’t believe he is gone.” And then in the same breath, “Thank you for being here.”
Thank you for being here.
The Gift of Serving
When Stephanie whispered those words, her voice cracking from the grief in her heart, I realized something we often forget:
Sometimes the best way to serve others is simply by being present.
Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. 1 Peter 4:8-10 CSB
Thank you for being here.
I thought about how many times I’ve said those same words. Countless times in situations from sitting in a hospital waiting room to celebrating an event.
In the verses above, we see Peter reminding his readers about love and how it works within the body of Christ. We find in these verses three important truths.
- Love gives us the ability to see the best in others.
- Love desires community and connection.
- Love serves with whatever gifts it has.
While we may all have different giftedness and abilities, there is one gift each of us possesses — the gift of time.
And how we use our time is an important measure of our understanding of God’s generosity to us. The gift of serving others is never a waste of our time, rather it’s a reflection of our abiding in Christ.
Does your life have space for simply being present?
Don’t take this question lightly, friend. It’s one that matters a whole bunch! Look over your schedule and the way you spend your days. Are you making time to serve? Do you prioritize spending time with others, not to accomplish a task, but merely to be in their company?
The gift of serving isn’t always DOING something; sometimes, the greatest gift of serving we can give is simply BEING present.
Father, in our crazy world it’s easy to get so caught up in all the stuff we do. But more than accomplishing tasks, we want to be known as women who reflect your heart. Would you give us wisdom to create space for serving others? And would you also grant us discernment to know when the greatest gift of serving we can offer is simply to be present with those in need? Open our hearts and open our eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you are in ministry or serve in any way in your church, one of the best resources I can recommend is Beth Moore’s Entrusted Bible study. This exploration of 2 Timothy is one of the most impactful studies I have ever done. I highly encourage you to consider this study as you seek to grow in your understanding of what ministry is and how to minister to others.
And if you want to know more about serving through being present and building connections, you need my friend Kristin’s new book, The Turquoise Table. Because sometimes serving can look a lot like putting a picnic table in your front yard and painting it bright turquoise and then just being there.
Thank you for joining me as we choose SEEING THE GIFTS OF GOD IN EVERY DAY LIFE. If you miss any of the posts in this series you can find them indexed here. Also, if this idea of lopsided living appeals to you, be sure to join my FULL LIFE CLUB. Every month I send an email full of encouragement, inspiration, and practical ideas for living a full life even when you have a full calendar.