How about a little Wordsworth, this evening? I'm in the mood for it, and hope you might be, too.
The following quotes are from two different pieces by William W., but for me they have a related frame of reference.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils. (1807)
Small service is true service (1835).
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The discussion leader at the Bible study this past Wednesday morning mentioned that she had no real friends from her youth because her father's work (he was an airline pilot) necessitated that they moved frequently. I could relate.
A Chief Operating Officer (COO) that I once worked with told me that his wife had moved around a lot because her dad was in the military, and she therefore had no friends from her youth. He, in contrast, had grown up in the same small town his entire life, and in fact, still lived near the street where he grew up. He could not relate.
I asked him if it bothered his wife, her background and lack of roots. His reply resonated with me. He told me, "It didn't bother her at the time she was growing up. But it bothers her a lot, now that she is older."
At the time I was working 50 to 55 hours a week, and had no time to ponder his comments, but they stuck with me. In the past year they struck a nerve.
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I have "wandered lonely as a cloud" for much of this past year; new town, new church, but little chance to make new friends due to family illness. And there are no friends from "youth" as I moved many times from state to state and my short-lived school acquaintances did not survive.
To make matters worse, I am an introvert by nature, so it is easy for me to simply retreat to my own little house and read, work crossword puzzles, clean house, work in the yard, and just piddle around. It is difficult for me to reach out to new people.
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But our Bible study group has been hard hit with illnesses and surgeries this past month. And thus an opportunity to offer a small service was available.
So today I chopped and simmered, sliced and diced, and enjoyed every minute of it. (Although I am not a great cook, I can follow a recipe. And bake a pan of cornbread. And toss a salad. How hard is that?)
The smile on A.'s face, as well as her husband's, when I delivered their dinner this evening was not just a reward, it was a blessing.
I drove back to my house smiling too, thankful for the joy of giving a service. Even a small one. As Wordsworth wrote, "Small service is true service."
Proverbs says that anyone who would have a friend, must first be a friend. A. invited me to come back and visit soon. It could be that we will become friends. But even if that does not occur, I have been blessed with the privilege of offering a small service.
Who knows, there may be a "crowd of daffodils" just around the corner.
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Hope you have a chance to offer some small service to someone soon. If you do, don't pass it up. There could be a bouquet of daffodils in it for you. Until next time ... Marsha