Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Small Service

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


  1. Wordsworth was a true wordsmith. The blessings of your "small" service and love in doing it are going to bring rich rewards!

  2. Hi Marsha, I really like how you tied wordsworth's words (wow that was a tongue twister) to your post.
    It was really good you were able to help out you friends with a meal. :)

  3. I have lived pretty much right here on this farm where I was raised for my entire life. Yet, I find that I have few really good friends from childhood. Our paths were different and I lost touch.....they had children, we did not; they had grandchildren, we did not; they have a spouse or spouses (sigh), I do not......such is life. I'm so thankful small service is acceptable in the sight of the Lord, I know little about any other type.....have a great weekend!

  4. Friends are so important and more so in later life. Research shows that older people with a social circle are likely to be happier and healthier. So it saddens me to hear your tale but happy to know that you have made a move and provided a service. I'm not in contact with many of my school friends as I went to school in Sydney and moved around a bit after that. However, 10 years ago I was reunited with friends from Teacher's College and a few of them are in Brisbane. My best friends though are those that I have worked with or have been neighbours in the past. I must admit, one must work at keeping in touch with friends. It is easy to retreat into your own little house and read or blog but sharing your life with friends is rewarding. Moving house and looking after your son hasn't made it easy for you. Going to Bible group is a good way to start. Joining the University of the Third age is a great way to meet people with the same interest as yourself. I have met lots of new people within the three sessions that I attend. Camera Club, Walking club and IPad lessons. There are heaps of activities Writing , history, languages, tai che, music, dancing, psychology, art and the list goes on. I'm not sure if you have the U3A organisation in the states.