This morning, I found myself on the highway in the left hand turn lane, behind a car that had their hazard lights on. I had just seen someone going around them, but hadn’t realized that the left turn signal wasn’t working. I drove up carefully between the car and the busy highway, preparing to make the same left turn around the car without the safety of the light.
As I pulled up, I realized that there was a young women in the car and that I was close enough, I could actually talk to her. l rolled down my window and asked if there was anything I could do to help.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“I can’t get my car to start, and I’m not sure what to do.” She told me.
She also mentioned that the light hadn’t changed for over 20 minutes. There were cars backing up behind her. I told her I would try to get some help. My daughter was in the car with me and because our house was not far away from the intersection, we went home first and then called 9-1-1. The dispatcher said she would send someone to help. It felt good to be able to do something. So many times I’ve driven by people on the side of the road and wished I could do something to help. It felt wonderful to be able to help.
This morning, I also had the opportunity to help a refugee learning how to read the English language. It was my first time to go and it was SO much fun. The hour I spent with her flew by. I loved seeing her face light up when she could remember or figure out a word. I’m so excited to keep working with her and be a part of her progress.
I was feeling really good about the experience and loading up my car with the books and activities I had brought, when a man came by the side of my car. He asked if I could help give his car a jump start. It wasn’t a great area of town, but I felt okay about helping him and thought it was interesting that I was having so many opportunities today to serve. I drove over to where his car was parked and tried to figure out how to open up the front hatch. It took us a little while. =)
The man put on the cables and tried to jump the car, but it wouldn’t start. As he tried to push on the gas and get the car going, I could tell that the car was just not in good condition. He was going to need a lot of repairs. I wished I could do something to help, but I knew he was probably going to have to get it taken into the shop. We couldn’t get it started.
I felt bad leaving him like that, but there really wasn’t anything more I could do. Then I realized, there was.
Two days ago, I had one of the best days I’ve ever had. About 8 ladies came over to surprise me wth a special luncheon and a present. One of my good friends had organized a service project for me. Though 8 were there, 20 were involved in the gift. They presented me with a beautiful quilt that had been stitched together with love. Many had donated their time, talents, money and love, moving the quilt from one person to another in order to create the beautiful quilt they had made for me. I was overwhelmed with their kindness. The blanket was put together with my favorite colors and had each of my children’s names embroidered into it. Each of their names were even spelled right. I couldn’t hold back the tears. In a card, they gave me some extra money. They said they had gotten more donations than they had needed to make the quilt. They wanted to give me the extra.
I was so grateful for the blanket, their gift and their love. It’s something I will treasure forever.
This morning, I realized that I still had the extra money in my purse. I wanted to share it with him. I rolled up a few of the larger bills and gave it to him. He thanked me and I wished him well as I got in my car to drive away.
He didn’t see what I gave him, but I was excited to think how surprised he would be when he did see. Maybe it would help.
I drove away with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe how good it felt to serve!!
Nobody wants to be a “service project”, and it’s no fun to have to serve someone who isn’t appreciative, but if both sides are done with genuine love, it can be one of the happiest experiences ever. That’s not to say it’s easy. It’s been difficult these last two years to let so many people help me, but I’ve needed their help and I’ve been grateful for every bit of it. It’s helped that on occasion, I’ve had people come up to me and afterwards thank me, with tears in their eyes, for the opportunity it was to serve.
Service is a blessing – both to the server and to the one being served. May you look for opportunities to serve, and also let others serve you! I truly believe it’s the best way to true happiness!