Tag Archives: John 13

Making Space for Service

Jim, Carol Ann and the Bookcase

Yesterday was Faith in Action day at Resurrection .  More than 210 people participated in various service projects.   The text for worship was from John 13, Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and instructing his followers to be servant leaders.  I was impressed with how the Faith in Action Team had organized our service into teams.  Along with others, Jim Popkens and I were sent to a subsidized senior-housing complex to assist with any spring clean-up chores. 

We knocked on the door of our first assigned apartment and no one answered.  At our second apartment, we were greeted by a friendly, small woman whose apartment was immaculate.   She needed help with only one thing: to clean behind her refrigerator.   Jim and I did find some dirt, but we were finished in less than five minutes.  We had a brief chat with the resident and then moved on to our final apartment.   I was thinking, “We may be done in less than twenty minutes.”  

My thoughts quickly changed once we entered Carol Ann’s apartment.  It was overflowing with craft projects, magazines and books.  She had a bookshelf from Target that needed assembly to help with her storage.  Fortunately, Jim had some experience with these project.  We cleared some space in her small living room and pulled out all the wooden pieces, connectors, brads, screws and instructions out.  It was warm in her apartment, so she offered us a glass of water.  Under Jim’s guidance, the bookcase slowly  took shape. Once, as we tried to fit the lower and upper halves together, nothing seemed to work.  Nothing that is until Jim discovered how the special internal latches had to be turned just so.  I think I would still be there if I had been doing the project alone.  

As we left Carol Ann’s apartment, she asked us about why we did this.  We briefly explained that it was part of our church mission to serve, to give back to the community.  She thanked us and we started our journey home.  Our service was nothing profound, yet I reflected my own love of books and how vital a bookshelf can be.   Service can often be simple: washing feet, cleaning behind refrigerators or assembling a bookcase.    Yet simple acts are at the heart of Christian love.

How has your faith been active of late?