Service: A Cup of Comfort

        I post a lot about being neighbolry and helping those around us, but I rarely share with you my own experiences with service.  My main reason for avoiding this topic is because
1) I'm not that good at it  AND
2) I kind of feel like service is not meant to toot your own horn "look at me!  look at ALL the wonderful things I'm doing!"  This is not what service is about.  Unless of course I get to brag on someone else, that's okay.
       But I had a converstaion with a dear friend the other day and she mentioned that I should share with you what I have learned from recent experiences.  So I suppose if it beneifts the reader (YOU) then it is worth it.
    I have been in the other seat many times, receiving visits from the hospital when I was on bed rest with my first pregnancy, meals, homemade blankets and cards after she was born.  These moments have given me comfort and peace, as well as blossoming friendships.  And so I have decided to share a couple service experiences with you each week, some are recent, others a few years back, but all have blessed my life and helped me to recognize the true meaning of life.
Side note:  All names are changed to protect the innocent ;-)
                                                      STORY 1
       Emily was a mother of  three bright eyed athletic boys.  They were thirteen, eleven and nine when thier mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  It showed up in her tests, it was the kind that was impossible to battle.  I couldn't imagine the trials this family had already coped with, a distant move, far away from all family, a husband that worked the night shift, and the cancer was back.  Emily knew that she was losing the fight, she realized all the new memories she would miss out on.  It was tragic, not just for her family, but for all of us at church.  None of us wanted to watch a beautiful, sweet mother pass away so young. 
         The service projects started off small, cleaning her kitchen, making meals once a week.  But the need grew, and so everyday, meals were dropped off, weekly cleaning was performed and daily rides to the hospital were given.  And not just rides to the hospital, but rides to the boys' sports practices and games, which they continued to stay busy with.  I rememeber holding Emily's hand a few days before she passed.  At this point she was no longer coherent.  But when I held her hand she squeezed it and grabbed tight.  I remember feeling peace in that room.  Tears streamed down my face as I wished and prayed for her and her family's peace and it came swirling all aorund.  What did I learn from all this? Trials happen to perfectly good people.  Those who are trying to live a good life.  But none of us are immune to heartbreak and hardships.  Some lives may seem perfect, but everyone has their own mountains to overcome.  What eles did I learn?  You can have peace in the midst of it all.  You can always take away a postive from something tragic. 
       Many families came together to help, to sacrifice and bring comfort.  We all took something away from this experience.   I am so impressed by this family who have gone through so much and have continued plugging away at life.  The husband has continued to serve those around him as well and be grateful for the oppurtunities ahead.  Although I didn't do all the services that were named,  (I did my fair share of cleaning and meal making) I was able to learn so much from the examples of others, and strength of the family..  Thank goodness for all the kind hearted, willing servants though who were more eager to make this difficult time for them a little less of a struggle. 
    Tell me is there a specific service which has touched your heart?  Has it changed you, and made you want to be better?  Please Share!



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