Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Our church’s Serve Day was a beautiful Saturday in the middle of July in the middle of Alabama. Our group chose a project at a local state park. Outside. From 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Outside. It was hot. Maybe 90 degrees. Did I mention we were outside? And it was hot?
Anywho. It was organized chaos for a while as everything was set out in its place. Organizers showed us what to do and we executed. There were lots of us serving and lots of single moms getting new school supplies for their kiddos. The kids were playing in a “pop-up” playground lovingly created by members of our team. It was a beautiful thing to witness.
My job was two-fold. First was an inventory of all donations brought the day of the event. Our leader wanted to show how every hamburger and hotdog bun, every pencil, notebook and box of crayons were being used to bless someone and bring God glory.
It was also my job to greet each car as it arrived to ensure cars of volunteers were parked in places that left room for our guests to park closer to our picnic area. Actually, what I really did was point the cars to the men who showed them where to park.
Once all the cars were parked, I wandered around and picked up trash, took over for other volunteers while they ate, chatted with folks who had completed their assigned tasks but weren’t quite ready to leave yet. Checking in with the organizers and volunteers to ensure they had what was needed to serve the women and kids is where I found myself. And I loved it!
In the grand scheme of the day, my role was a small part of what our group did. Some set up the play area and entertained all the kids. Some “shopped” and prayed with the moms. Others made and served our meal. Some carried the bags of supplies to the moms’ cars for them. But we all served.
Our pastor says we receive as much by serving as those who are being served. When we find places to give back where we are using our own unique gifts, we are walking in our purpose. And that is the most amazing feeling. Using my gift of administration was fulfilling for me and freed up others from doing what may seem mundane to them but gives me a sense of purpose.
In Luke 12:48, Jesus reminds us that great gifts mean great responsibilities and greater gifts greater responsibilities. At one time I thought great gifts only meant power, authority, and money. Now I believe Jesus meant whatever the gifting we’ve been given, we have a responsibility to use it to glorify God and help his people.
We were all wilted and soggy with sweat at the end of the day. I did mention it was July in Alabama and we were outside, right? But, I’d venture to say if you asked anyone who was there, they’d sign up again in a heartbeat. To be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Well, maybe we’d better wait another day or two before we ask.
Hey there friend! Andrea McCaskey here. I believe everything happens for a reason, life is meant to be lived in relationship with others and there is beauty to be found everywhere if we look. I am a friend of God, wife of Jamal and mother of Brandon and Madison.
To read more of Andrea’s Breath on Paper bio, click here.