The story goes that a news reporter watched Mother Teresa of Calcutta as she cleaned the infested wound of a man on the street, only to say to her, “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.”
To which Mother Teresa immediately replied, with a bit of a smile, “I wouldn’t either.”
There is a lot of talk these days about the lack of employees in the service industry. I have a good friend who likes to complain about all his favorite restaurants not having enough employees and the restaurants have had to shorten their hours. He grumbles how that is inconvenient for him.
I overheard a man complaining the other day about how he misses the “good old days” of the full-service gas stations. He can’t find one now and has to do all that car stuff himself.
Even in Sun City, the “City of Volunteers,” a place where serving the community has been a corner stone, there are reports about a decreasing number of volunteers.
The question becomes, as I see it, are we only waiting to be served or are we willing to do what we can to serve others? Of course, as a local church pastor, I often turn to scripture as one source to reflect upon questions. Scripture is quite clear, quite fast, that the call is for us to serve rather than waiting to be served.
Lois was in her mid-90s when I knew her, almost 20 years ago. She was nearly blind, had mobility issues and was in constant pain. Visiting with her one day, I asked what I could do to help her. She said there wasn’t anything she needed. Then she went on to tell me that she found her strength from helping others. Using a telephone with extra large numbers, she called people throughout each day to let them know she was thinking of them and would say a prayer with them. It was her way of serving.
Mother Teresa, Lois and countless others have made a difference in the lives of those around them by their willingness to serve. Service far more valuable than a million dollars.
Editor’s Note: Brady Abel is pastor of United Church of Christ in Sun City.
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