Serving every day
Brenda Nail DeLauder
Hearing the word “thanks” or being told I’m appreciated can make my day. Yet it’s not about what “I” have done, but how I was able to help. There’s a huge difference in the two. The focus on “look at me” is useless and vain, but to actually offer help through encouraging words, willingness to compromise, or help find a workable solution, can truly open up ways to serve our Lord.
Being involved with the Home Owners Association can be rewarding and trying, often at the same time. There was a problem with a neighbor, which seemed to get worse instead of better, each time the concern was addressed. It had finally fallen into my lap to handle. Continuing to push her was only going to make things worse, so I sat down to write a letter, but no words came to me, so I decided a phone call might be a better form of communication. I really dreaded making the call, but thought I probably wouldn’t reach her, and would just leave a message . . . only she answered on the first ring. I felt her shield go up almost from the first word, but little by little it seemed to come down. The more I listened, the more she vented, until the real pain came out. With a stressful home life and a disabled Mom, who was recently widowed, the weight on her shoulders was at the breaking point. Fighting back at the HOA was simply an outlet for frustration and anger, having more to do with her life than her property. I had definitely made the right choice to call her, because in doing so, we were able to compromise on the problem, as well as provide her a listening ear. While I can’t fix her life, I can pray for her.
For almost a year a friend’s grown son has battled a brain tumor. His positive attitude has played an important role in gaining a “stable” level and the doctors are pleased with his improvement. We pray it continues. Because the son wants to live his life as normal as possible, his parents have had to reign in their desire to smother him with loving attention. Sometimes I think that is harder than seeing how the chemo knocks him over.
Yesterday I felt compelled to send her a note, reminding my friend God was with them. Her response gladdened my heart, because my note had arrived at the perfect moment she needed a lift. It wasn’t what I said, but what God had sent.
The sullen face on the young girl troubled me. She was new to our bus stop and seemed to ignore the other kids, even when they tried to be nice. The age-old method of “keep on trying” became a morning routine. From my porch I would wave and call out “Good Morning!” It about broke my heart the first morning because she looked behind herself to see who I was greeting. When she realized it was just for her, I got a timid little wave in return. Each morning, she grew a little braver, until she finally started to smile with her own greeting! I learned yesterday she has been a target of a bully at school. So my prayer for this young lady is to be protected and given courage, strength and boldness!
Each of us, no matter what we do during the course of a day, have opportunities to serve the Lord. Encouraging words, listening ears, and powerful prayers are wonderful tools we are given to accomplish what God needs for us to do. Let us rejoice as we serve the Lord!
Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.