I walked into the early morning cold, locking the door of our rowhouse behind me. The city is empty on weekend mornings: quiet and still. A thin layer of frost glazed the sidewalks, already melting where the sunrise fell between the buildings.
I felt a bit nervous. The walk from my house to the Young Women’s Christian Association was about six blocks, and I had never volunteered there before. My breath came and went in cloudy bursts. My friend David met me outside the YWCA and gave me a hug. As we stood there in the early morning cold, waiting for one more volunteer, a young lady parked her car up against the curb. She fumbled with her phone, and when she opened her car door, the entire thing fell off.
She tried to close it again, but the hinge was bent.
“Do you want to get out, and then I can close that for you?” I asked her.
She smiled, pointed at the conversation she was having on her phone, and climbed out. I lifted and slammed the door into place.
* * * * *
I spent the next two hours standing behind a counter, checking the women’s names off a list as they left, giving them their personal items from their envelopes. Medication. Keys. Packs of gum.
It was a chilly morning. Each of the women collected their things and took the elevator back up to the street, most of them pulling old roller suitcases behind them on their way to the free Saturday breakfast at one of the local churches.
It seemed like such a small thing, such a tiny sacrifice. I showed up for two hours, said hello, checked names off of a list, and then walked home through the brisk morning. But on that morning, Jesus needed someone to help him get checked out of the local YWCA, and I guess I was that person.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
Sit in silence for a moment and ask if there are any small acts of kindness you can add to your busy life. When confronted by an ask or a request to help, consider that it could be Jesus asking you for help—does that change your response?
Father, too often my involvement in something is determined by how important it seems or by the influence of those involved. Help me to see and remember that all acts of kindness are done to you and for you. Thank you for your patience with me as I learn to live a life of obedient and joyful service. Amen.