An 83-year-old woman still heads up a soup kitchen. A 72-year-old man still assists with charity building projects. These and other caring souls offer their time, energy, hearts and hands in the service of others. What can we learn from them?
Marla has been the lead cook at an inner-city soup kitchen for the past twenty-two years. She started when she was 61. At first, she was uneasy about the position, and even a bit frightened by some of the folks entering the dining hall, but day after day she strengthened her commitment.
Now, Marla is known as momma and in some cases, sis. She says she told the Lord that as long as she could walk and stand, she would stir the soup pot.
I must admit that I couldn’t fathom serving the same people in a soup kitchen–for so long. I wondered why these people didn’t move on, get jobs and thus cook their own soup. Then I corrected my thinking.
Many of the hungry Marla served became her family. And as she learned to venture out to sit among them, she became momma and had plenty of opportunities to share God’s love.
Serving where you can and building from there
Stephen saw an ad asking for help on a charity workforce. The group helped to repair homes, playground equipment and clean up parks. His wife had passed away several years prior. It was his adult grandkids who talked him into joining the crew. In fact, one of his grandsons accompanied him on several occasions.
Stephen thought he could pass around snacks and water bottles–and that was it. However, he did a little painting, planted some flowers, repaired a swing set and added on from there.
His grandchildren often showed up to cheer him on and pass him a water bottle.
Marla and Stephen had both raised large families and now had time to spare. But most of all they had willing hands. I used their stories to inspire my children to keep loving and giving freely.
Now, my grandchildren are taking their places in various areas of service.
Would you like a begin a second career? How about serving your community?