Giving: Who is it for?

Service is a common language I can speak with my neighbors. I posted that on my Facebook wall on Monday after a walk around the neighborhood gathering books for a book drive.

It’s a language within me as I gave much this week.

In addition to the book drive, I also made three visits to friends. I volunteered for a day of  home care for an elderly woman in need. I also worked on a committee that’s planning a Mormon Helping Hands project next week at the St. Cloud Children’s Home.

I share these endeavors not to do my alms before men or even hold up a light for others to see, but in gratitude for the opportunity to give again. At a time when our family financial crises mirrors the long-standing one in our nation at large, we’re in a position to receive much from others to sustain us with little left to give.

To engage in service this week has brought three gifts to my life:

Gratitude. Giving is a way to express gratitude for all I’ve been given. I love to give. I love that I can take my time and talents and add something of worth and value for the benefit of others. Having received thoughts, prayers, financial help and various gifts increases my desire even more to want to do the same for others. Lately, I’ve found opportunities even in my hour of want to do this, and I’ve experienced no more fulfilling days than these.

Humility. Using my helping hands reminds me of my need for help that continues. It is hard for me to receive help because I’ve always been taught to be self reliant. But I’ve learned that we never reach a point where we have it all together. We are always in want, always in need.  Sometimes—a lot of times— we mask that need or want with a false front or self assurance. Serving others humbles me and prepares me for understanding, even if it is just understanding of how to I react with compassion.

Love.  I cherish the opportunity to connect with individuals in their own home or setting. Being in someone else’s space is an invitation to respect them even when we might be uncomfortable by unfamiliar or different surroundings. Love, I’m learning, requires us to train our eyes, and more importantly our heart, on interactions coming in as much as the interactions we send out. Service blocks off some time, even for just a few minutes, to focus love on someone besides ourselves.

I gave without all my circumstances being perfectly situated and solved, and I still received much in return. Just two helping hands and two minutes or two hours can be a tool for good.





1 Comment

  1. Loretta
    Sep 20, 2012

    Very touching and insightful. I relate to your feelings. I find very little time in my days to give other than at work and hope that will soon change.

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