The other day, Jewel's song HANDS came on. It made me think of the following story:
A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God’s presence in their lives.
Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculptor to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was—a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words: “You are my hands.”
"When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. And He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation. That is what He did during His mortal life; it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples."
"As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit."
This made me think, What am I doing to extend my hands toward others? How am I serving them? Am I serving others?
I recently found the blog of a beautiful, Christ-like girl who bakes a cake daily/weekly? and then goes out searching for "those less fortunate, for those who've been dealt a raw deal in life, and for those who just deserve some more love" to give it away to. She gives them the cake, visits with them and then records their amazing story on her blog. This is not a huge grand service project. This is a simple easy act of love. She's doing something she loves to do, bake, and she's using it to bless and serve others. This sweet girl woman has truly inspired me.
Since it's Christmas time, I want to share with you a tradition my friend and neighbor does with her family. At her house, instead of having an "Elf on the Shelf" that gets into trouble and tattles on the children (you know my feelings about the Elf on the Shelf), she has her children become "ELVES OFF THE SHELF" that go out and do nice things for others--taking in their garbage cans, delivering treats anonymously, or randomly handing out small treat bags at the mall--all with a note wishing a Merry Christmas from "Elves off the Shelf."Last year these little elves brought in our garbage can each week, and this year they are hosting a Christmas Gift Wrapping party, where we've been invited to drop off our unwrapped gifts to their house and the Elves will wrap them for us. I love this idea.
Can I be honest with you? Serving others is hard for me. Not because I don't want to do it. I totally do. I think I just over-think things- Do they really want/need my help? Will this embarrass them? What if they don't like what I do? Then my other problem is I don't give myself "Service Credit" for the little things I do - taking cookies to a neighbor, making dinner for someone who is sick, opening the door for someone, giving someone a smile. I seem to forget that service does not have to be a huge 'collecting blankets and delivering them to the homeless' project. Christ did not serve this way. He served others by bringing His time, comfort, and love.
One of my goals for the new year is to serve more, praying daily for opportunities to be His hands and for guidance from the Spirit to know what, where, whom, and how to serve- To stop being so worried about what others think, to give myself credit for the small things, and to just serve.