Serve as a Volunteer
A Penny for Your Thoughts
One night, I volunteered at a vocational and rehabilitation center for people with disabilities. A center where my dad received help decades ago.
During the night's activities, I invited the young adults to take hold of a penny, look at the printed year, and think of a significant life event which occurred during the year. The dates on their pennies all happened to align to their birth dates. One girl shared how she could not breathe well when she was born. The stories continued all holding a common theme; difficult births told to them by their mothers.
In listening to their stories, I affirmed how much God loved them and gave thanks for their courageous conversations and diverse abilities.
Glance at a penny. Look at the Year. What signifiant life are you courageous to tell?
If you cannot think of event, turn to Ecclesiastes chapter 3. Read slowly through the first eight verses pausing with a breath after each phrase. Perhaps one of the events the Spirit brings to mind is a time when you volunteered and moved your acts of service into moments of mission. May the Holy Spirit bring to mind courageous events in your faith journey that drew you close to God and to one another while reflecting on various seasons in your life.
For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep,
and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn,
and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek,
and a time to lose;
a time to keep,
and a time to throw away;
a time to tear,
and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak;
a time to love,
and a time to hate;
a time for war,
and a time for peace.
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me... And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' Matthew 25:34-36, 40
Make a list of non-profit organizations where you serve. Include faith based organizations such as church and places in the community such as the food bank.
Read Matthew 25:34-26, 40. Name the places where you have given food, shared a cup of water, cared for the sick, visited the imprisoned, or donated clothes.
Identify the places where you have turned volunteer work into mission work.
All we’re ever asked to do in this life is to treat our neighbor - especially our neighbor in need - exactly as we would hope to be treated ourselves. That’s our ultimate responsibility. - Mister Rogers
We approach the throne of grace seeking to find your wisdom, discern your will and follow in your way. We often wonder how we as can make a difference where we live, for the problems seem too large and the injustices too deep. Yet in the stories of scripture and the stories of our lives, your transforming love shines through in acts of service and words of encouragement.
Motiviate our hands and feet to unfold your ways of kindness and justice in our world. Move our laments toward being your beacons of hope in a weary world.
Lead us to reach out to those who need food, water, clothes, visitors, and shelter.
Guide us beside those who need restoration in body, mind and spirit.
Direct us toward bringing comfort to the grieving and joy to the oppressed.
Transform our lives to cast a new vision of your generous love in our world. Transform our spirits and send us out to serve.