I've spent a good portion of my life helping others. Service brings me joy, a sense of purpose, a natural high! I loved caring for my mom during the 31 years she was a widow. Calling her daily, helping her maintain her house and yard, celebrating holidays with her, and taking her out to lunch or on errands was a privilege. I miss her terribly!
Now I am in the position of needing service. My knee is shot, and I can't do yard work or housework like I once could. My children volunteered to help with some heavy-duty yard work this spring, and it has been so hard to accept help! I want to do everything myself. I feel frustrated and sad that I'm not an independent as I'd like to be but also deeply grateful for children who serve willingly when they see a need.
I now realize how difficult it was for my mom to watch me working hard to serve her, even though the work seemed so fun and rewarding at the time. I feel her angst as she saw my husband and I do heavy labor in her behalf. I hope she realized that it was such an honor to serve her. I hope my children feel the same.
Sometime service can be very hard, as I described in my last post about helping my mentally ill relative. But often it is really fun. Volunteering is a classroom, teaching high school students for the Rape Recovery Center, teaching children in our church, taking in a meal to a sick neighbor, visiting an elderly widow, calling a lonely friend, caring for a sick child. These acts require effort, but have brought me great joy.
I've discovered that as we serve others, our own trials seems smaller. As we connect with others and ease their suffering, our own burdens seem lighter. Thanks to all who have lifted my burdens throughout my life, and thanks to those who have allowed me to lift theirs. Service is a path to peace. We walk in the Savior's footsteps as we seek to love and serve others.
© Carol Brown