Thursday, August 6, 2009

Service - The Other Side

It was a beautiful day - one I had been waiting for! Not to hot, not raining. YES! Perfect! It was time to clean out my shed.

I knew there were things in there that just got moved and put there to be "dealt with" at a later time. Well, it's a later time! Besides, I needed the space to move the stuff that sits in my garage that truly belongs in my shed.

So, out onto the lawn went the contents of the shed: lawnmower, weed eater, multiple old cardboard boxes (empty), flower pots, ladders, wheelbarrow and multiple other assorted items.

Shortly after the bottom fell out of the bag of lime (as I was lifting it), my neighbor walked over. "I see you're cleaning the barn!" I nodded as we exchanged greetings. He cast a glance at the wheelbarrow. "Is that tire flat?" Again, I nodded. "I'd be happy to take a look at it for you...."

This neighbor is a tinker-er. It's a rare occasion that I step outside and not hear the clanking and banging coming from his "barn". He's in his late seventies, but is spry and agile. His mind is sharp and with his hearing aids, he can tell if my mower is "not quite right" from his porch. He has refurbished playground equipment and set it up for my children.

One morning, a few months after I'd moved in, I began to realize what joy he brought me - simply through the sounds of his labor. A giving spirit, always working on a cause.

He asked how my weedeater and the lawnmower were working. "Fine". He nodded and looked away. Deep within me, there was a tug: "He's trying to help you! He wants to help you! LET HIM!"

I looked back at the weedeater. I mentioned how I'd had to hold it together with electrical tape after a screw had fallen out. His face lit up. He'd be happy to look at it, he said.

He asked again about the lawnmower. I suggested he help me with the "end of season" care that it would require. Again he agreed, without hesitation.

As he walked away, I was reminded again of a phrase spoken by a friend of mine: "Do no deny another an opportunity to serve."

That's hard for me.... but I'm working on it!

Thank You God for this opportunity - for the gift of this neighbor, and Your still, small voice within....

1 comment:

Susan said...

How beautiful. You provided a win-win for you both. Way to go!!