Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Throughout my life I have been exceedingly blessed even during times when I was less than faithful. To this day I don’t understand why. But I have never questioned God’s love for me, demonstrated by those who served.
For 12 years from the time of a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, a physical therapist played praise music, encouraged Matt through his exercises and offered me encouragement and advice – she served.
When Matt had his first surgery, the doctors, nurses, therapists (OT, PT, Speech and recreational) shared laughter, ideas and encouragement – they served.
During Matt’s school years we had teachers, aides and case managers who looked past Matt’s disability and saw his strengths and helped us navigate the educational system – they served.
When I first began attending St. Thomas, someone anonymously made a mini ramp so that I could easily negotiate Matt’s wheelchair over the sill into the building where the children’s Sunday School classes were held. It was a blessing and a tangible sign of the hospitality and love I would always experience – he served.
In a year of health problems, two friends came to my house and decorated my Christmas tree when I could not. They showered me with laughter, friendship and fellowship – they served.
When I have been confused or frustrated or just needed to vent, I have friends who encourage, provide insight, lead me with love, get me back on track when I stray and make sure I don’t take life or myself too seriously – they serve.
Scripture urges us to be rich in, zealous for, devoted to and a model of good works. We are even told we are created by God to do good works. Although all of these are good reasons to serve, none are the reason I serve.
I serve because I have been abundantly blessed. I serve because God loves me and loves us all. I serve because of all the times I have been the recipient of service and of love. I serve to pass on the love and comfort I have been shown. How can I do anything less?
About Paula Renfro
I am retired, live in Haymarket and am one of the three Lay Leaders.