Keep It Simple
Sometimes when we think giving service, we think that is has to be some grand gesture. We need to swoop in and solve the world for them. We cannot show up empty handed, so we have to make a Pinterest worthy desert wrapped in a package fit for a magazine. Then we get overwhelmed with all the details, decide that we are not up to the task, and resort to doing nothing, because we would hate to fail.
The question has been posed many times over the course of my life, “What is the greatest act of service you have ever received?” Now, I have received many acts of service in my life, as I am sure most of us have. I have received meals, had people help me pack, clean up, pick up my kids, help me through problems, pick up packages from my front porch for me… the list goes on.
But in that list of things that people have done to help me, when asked this question, the act of service that shows up boldly as the biggest act of service was one of the smallest, simplest things that anyone could have done. The funny part is, that she probably didn’t consider it an act of service at all, and maybe did not realize the impact she had. Regardless, it made me feel seen and loved.
The story starts when we moved to Mexico City when my oldest was five months old. Being from a ridiculously small town, being in a big city was more than a little outside of my comfort zone. We also lived far away from all of the people we knew, and I was feeling pretty lonely. One day, without any warning, I received a phone call from a woman from church. We talked for a total of maybe 5 minutes. The conversation was not anything special. She asked how I was settling in, how I was liking the apartment, the church, the area, and offered some words of encouragement. Then we hung up and we both went on with our days.
As the day passed, I was was so touched that no only God knew me, knew that I was feeling lonely, and found a way to reach out to help me feel seen in my new and scary world, but that this woman was sensitive enough to recognize God speaking to her. I am touched that she was brave enough to call someone that she barely knew, and that she could bring so much joy into my life.
If we ever feel inspired to reach out and help someone, let’s try to remember to not complicate things. It is more important to act on these charitable feelings and show up to be there for someone than to complicate our act of service to the point that it becomes a burden on ourselves and possibly others. When it comes to service, we can just keep it simple.
So when it comes to serving others, I feel like we do not need to complicate our lives. If we feel that we should make a quick phone call, send and email, or even a text message, we should give in to the voices in our head telling us that these acts are too small, because they might be just what the person on the other end needs.