so today . . . we had a dinner/drama at our church. i think this is the third one i have been to, but there was something different this time.
you all know that if you are part of an organization (and especially if you are female, it seems,) eventually there will be some sort of fund-raising event, and you will be expected to participate. i am not a good participant. i don't bake, i don't make centerpieces, i am somewhat wimpy when it comes to setting up tables and chairs. and decorating?!?! i mean, i know it looks nice, but teams of people seem to spend a lot of hours decorating for an event that lasts for only two. and then all those lovely decorations have to be ripped down and disposed of--so yeah, i am not a big fan of decorating. i guess i could sit at the door and collect tickets and entrance fees, but that requires repeated social interaction (possibly with people i don't know,) and for some reason churches tend to not trust the pastor's wife with the money. i don't know why that is--you would think she would be one of the most trustworthy people in the group! i am sure they are just trying to protect her from other people's suspicions, but still . . .
so usually when we have these fund raising events at our church, i manage to squiggle out of any real responsibility. but i know that there are a lot of things that have to be done to create a successful event, and i really admire the people who have the skills to make it work. and yet, i always feel a little bit bad for them too, because they don't get to enjoy the event in the same way as the rest of us. but, if it weren't for the people who set up tables and chairs, and cook the food, and serve the food, and clean everything up, there would be no events.
enter a small church from somewhere north of us . . . (now i am feeling bad, because i did not bring a program home which would have had all the important information on it--like the name of the church or where exactly they are from--that i am now trying to dig out of my brain. and somebody spent time making those programs too!) there are about 40 people in this church, and they want to impact their world in a positive way. as they talked about it, it became clear that they didn't seem to have the resources or skills to be able to make much of a difference.
and then they came up with an idea.
they decided to serve. and not as a way to make money, but just as a way to bless somebody else. today we were the lucky recipients of their service. they arrived at our church and set up the gym with tables and chairs, they cooked a tasty meal, they came dressed in their white shirts and black pants to serve us, and when it was all over, they took care of the clean up. all so we didn't have to.
and while this didn't make a huge difference to me (because as i said, i am not all that much help at these events anyway,) it allowed donna and dorothy and tom and faith and dick and mike and shari and several others to just come and enjoy the entertainment without having to spend time in the kitchen cooking for everyone. and it allowed the teens to be part of the drama or just to come and enjoy the show without having to wear their white shirts and black pants and spend two hours serving the food. and it allowed ernie and his crew not to have to spend a lot of time after it was all over cleaning up.
and they did it for free. just because they want to love and serve others. just like Jesus did.
there were tip jars on the tables, and i noticed that people were pretty generous with the tipping. and i thought, "that's nice--at least they will make a little bit of money." and then diandra said that they use the tip money to take the kids out for ice cream when they are all cleaned up and headed for home.
i think that is nice. i think it is good that they involve everyone in their ministry--even the kids. we have to teach our children to help others, and there is no better way to do that than by involving them as we help others. our world would be a much better place if we all had the attitude of serving and helping other people, like this group did tonight, instead of just looking out for ourselves.
and if you can have a little bit of ice cream every once in a while, even better!