What Does It Mean To Serve Others?
What does it mean to serve others; I mean really serve others? The dictionary says that the word serve means to perform duties or services for another person. When I thought about how I wanted to live my life “post child raising”, I decided that I wanted to live it in service to others. I guess I thought that meant being a benefit, or help to others, in some small capacity. That’s how I landed at Kaleidoscope Community Services (KCS). I know from my past experiences serving others, that I would end up getting far more out of it than I could ever possibly give. But I wasn’t prepared for this.
I met Eric when I first started volunteering at The Second Street Commons. When I met him he was extremely quiet and very rarely shared about himself. He did however show up consistently and participate. I learned that Eric was homeless, unemployed, and had been for some time. The more Eric and I were at The Commons the more we interacted. I saw Eric’s heart of gold. He is kind, gentle, intelligent, willing to learn, and he has a terrific sense of humor.
Over the past five years Eric has served his homeless peers at The Commons and in the community. Over the past year, Eric has found a room to share and is no longer homeless. He has found his voice and shares what God is doing in his life, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Eric has definitely come out of his shell and is an instrumental part of our KCS team. Two month ago, Eric made a very brave move and took a job with the KCS Land and Home work crew.
Eric needed a social security card for work. He hasn’t had one in a long time, so I took him to get it. We went early to avoid the inevitable lines, but to our surprise it only took a few minutes. As I was driving him home he said to me, “You have done so much for me, I would like to buy you a malt.” I honestly did not know what to say. I didn’t want him spending his hard earned money on me. I also know the joy I have received being able to give to others and I didn’t want to take that joy away from him. I told him I would love a malt. He looked at me and said, “I would like to get you a burger too.” I choked back tears and told him I would love a cheeseburger. We had lunch together that day. The conversation was sweet. This act of service and sacrifice blessed me beyond measure. Eric gave the way Jesus teaches us to give, and in the Kingdom of Heaven Eric will be first. I want to serve others the way Eric does.
Honestly, it was the best vanilla shake and cheeseburger I have ever had!
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