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
Another good lesson we need to take to heart!!
I have missed you readings. I have been absorbed in my stressful job and everyday life and of course I crash on the weekend. By the way, Happy Happy Belated 50th Birthday. I hope you were blessed with joy, love, and fun! I wish I could have been there but your mom planned it during my work hours and of course I am not able to leave. They are really strict. I haven’t been ready my bible like I was when I was unemployed and I rarely get on facebook because I am on the computer all day! But I will say my day yesterday was bad, stressful, overwhelmed, anxiety, feeling helpless like I could work so hard and never get ahead. I found myself complaining the whole way home to my loving husband who listened patiently. Then I realized when I couldn’t sleep that I was missing something. The WORD! I first picked up my book your mom gave me by Sarah Young, “Jesus Calling” and began reading different uplifting readings. I wrote a couple of them down in my Journal I have especially for my thoughts, scriptures, poems, etc. Then I realized I need to pick up my bible and read it. So I did, Hebrews which is the section I am learning. I then went back to my journal and wrote a diary of my day and how I felt and what God/ My Lord Jesus Savor could do to help me. He can hold my hand and lift my spirits high. He is there when I need him to take my worries away. So I prayed and today was better, not perfect but I didn’t expect that. I am not perfect and My God knows that. I worked hard despite my frequent trips to the bathroom with stomach issues because I eat what I am not supposed to. End the End of the day, I need to get on facebook and read everyone’s thoughts. It helps us get through the day to join together like you said in your reading and discuss it. I even discussed the Lord and my thoughts with my coworker and read her a poem which made her melt/smile. So now I have made another person feel better. I like your readings because I take your scripture that you know so well and add it to my journal. At least the one that touch me. Thank you Melinda. Your a wonderful, caring loving cousin whom I would love to see your new house and stables. My husband’s daughter loves horses. What you are doing by giving back is amazing. I wish I could afford to stay home and do charity work. I did it in college and it made me feel so good. I hope to see you real soon. By the way, Rickey’s Birthday is on your parent’s anniversary. Ironic huh. XOXOXO Kiss the family and especially your Aunt Sharon and Uncle Tom. Is your dad doing any better? I really enjoyed his my visit with them last time, I wish he could have stood to visit longer but his head was hurting so badly. That must be miserable. He made me laugh as he said he would be fine if he could take his head off and throw it against the wall! Love you Mindy. bty: you look 40, you have good genes. Please forward to your mom. I know she would love to read this. We traded books that day. xoxoxo
ps. I will take the last scripture for my journal. 🙂