Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 days || twenty-three: service.

 {photo by Sheena at The Little Red House}

This afternoon, our small group from church is making a quick visit to a local nursing home. We’re taking little pumpkins to the residents there, a little something that I hope will brighten their day, will bring joy in the middle of this season I love so much. 

Most of these last 23 posts have dealt with celebration and how it affects us individually. I’ve shared my thoughts on everything from dinner parties to grief, from hostessing duties to date nights to quiet and rest

But celebration isn’t inherently selfish. 

In fact, I think celebration, by its very nature, encompasses all of us. 

It is meant to be shared. 

Sure, there are moments of peace and quiet that I celebrate, that I treasure. 

Overall, though, I’m inclined to think celebration is a shared experience, a communal pursuit. 

Today, we’re going to celebrate with a population of people that doesn’t get to celebrate very often. 

We will sing, and we will smile, and we will treat them like the celebrants they are. 

Because, the truth is, they’re the very kind that taught us how. 


The best kind of celebration occurs when we think outside of ourselves, when we look around this life we’ve been gifted, and we realize we are meant to do something great with it. We are meant to share it, not just with our friends and our families, but with all of those who travel this journey with us. Especially, I think, with those who have paved the way before us. 

Some of the happiest, most meaningful moments of my life have been lived for others. The time I surprised my grandmother by showing up at her infamous Christmas party when I was supposed to be hours away in Alabama. The time Jordan insisted we pick up a couple of strangers and take them to their home so they wouldn’t have to walk there in the cold. The day I spent with the girls in my youth group, reminding them they are beautiful, and they are His.

These are the moments I think I’ll remember, moments when I was celebrating with others without even knowing it. 

Maybe the best kind of celebration isn’t called celebration at all. Maybe it’s service. It’s the washing of the feet and the performing of menial tasks. It’s looking beyond ourselves into the face of someone else.


"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

- Romans 12:9-13 


lowercase letters said...

love this, annie. i haven't gotten to read many of your posts this month, but i love this idea you have of celebration.
good for you for going and serving these sweet, elderly people. i'm sure you will make their week.

Annie said...

I never thought of celebration this way, and I am still wrapping my mind around this concept, but I like it. Service, I think, is a celebration of the heritage bestowed upon us, a heritage we don't deserve. A heritage, that, by grace, we are beyond blessed to receive from the One who showed us what service looks like.

Anonymous said...

What a perfect idea- my grandpa in the nursing home & people that don't go there to visit would never believe how lonely some of the residents are!!!