I started something new this year. I am volunteering at a pregnancy center.

God gave me a sweet spot for hurting women, in general, and when the “crisis” is coming from an unplanned pregnancy, or even from the choice of aborting that pregnancy, I’m especially tender. There are a lot of other women, wired like me, who are staff or volunteers at centers like this all over the country. I so admire what they are doing, and the love with which they do it, and I’m honored and humbled to be even a part.

This week, I showed up for my time slot, and the place was empty, save for the receptionist. I settled in, and started a wonderful conversation with her, a gal whom I didn’t know that well. We talked about our families, extended families, and our love for school, and the written word.

(I would be a professional student if I could. Did you know you could audit classes online for free at several Ivy League schools??)

We sat for four hours with not a single phone call, appointment or walk-in. That doesn’t happen too often; never, since I’ve been there. While in that business you can be kind of happy when no one walks through the door, I’ll admit to thinking – a couple of times – of the other things I could’ve been doing with that time. At closing time, I got in the car and thought, again, about how I could’ve gotten the grocery store knocked out, or taken care of some other errands, then it hit and humbled me like a blow to the head:

You may not have seen a soul, but you kept the doors open. You were AVAILABLE.

Open and available. That’s what we’re called to be; and not just at the pregnancy center. Regardless of what else may be happening in our lives, we should be ready to help, ready to listen, ready to love…ready to point others to the Place for Ultimate Healing. There is no waste of time if we keep the doors of our hearts open, and ourselves available.

What a privilege to serve. I’m grateful for the call to be a part of it; on the giving end, certainly, but especially on the receiving end, when I really need it myself. Thankfully, God has not only equipped us for this, but given us His Word as reinforcements.

(Which, incidentally, is also available online for free, and in the form of an actual BOOK, if you’re looking for more of an old-school classroom experience. I’ve found Him to be an excellent teacher.)


“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 ESV

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20 ESV

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” Phillipians 2:1-4 MSG