A couple of weeks ago I accompanied a member of the church while he delivered Meals on Wheels in Goldsboro. I met lots of strangers as we went from door to door. All of them welcomed the brief visit, the meal, and many offered hugs as we departed. I walked away feeling I had received much more than what I gave. It was a good morning.
These elderly strangers offered warm greetings, blessings, and hope. I really didn’t do anything except show up and follow. The morning left me feeling grateful for health, a home, and all the people in my life who offer me hospitality. I am rich beyond measure.
Being a volunteer is a part of our response to God’s abundant love. In giving our time to serve someone else we serve God. We give our time not because we are great Christians, but so we can become better Christians. In serving someone who cannot do anything for us, we learn to give unconditionally and without judgement. When we serve we can’t be self-centered. Volunteering forces us to see that others are like us and it helps us see the needs of our community. Volunteering changes us.
Most of us have more discretionary time during the summer. It is great time to volunteer. There are a lot of choices out there. Pick something that you love to do and share yourself through that. Be a reading buddy with a neighborhood kid who needs to keep up reading skills, help at the soup kitchen, deliver meals, volunteer at the Boys and Girls club. Who knows, what we begin this summer may become a habit that extends into the fall and beyond.
Fredrick Beuchner is a favorite American writer and a fine theologian. He says: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” May it be so as we serve God.