I want to share a story with you that illustrates the healing power of service.
Back in the 1950s, famed psychiatrist Erick Erickson visited a Milwaukee woman who had become reclusive and depressed. She had been a very active faithful Christian until she became wheelchair bound. Erickson himself had a disability; he was stricken by polio in his youth and walked with a limp. When the woman saw that Erickson was like her, she welcomed him into her home.
She was affluent and the tour of her home quite lengthy. It ended in a greenhouse where she proudly pointed to rows of one type of flower; an African violet. She held up a single flower and said that every other cutting came from this host. The flowers were her passion.
Erickson told the woman that she was depressed and she concurred, but he said that wasn't her problem. He said that her problem was that she wasn't a very good Christian! Of course, she took offense at this proclamation but once she gathered herself Erickson gave her this remedy.
He said, "I want you to get your church bulletin or weekly newsletter and whenever you see a happy or sad life event, a birth, a wedding, a death, an illness, etc. I want you to take one of these potted flowers and hand-deliver it. Be your Christian self!"
She had a chauffeur so this remedy was achievable. At the end of the visit they parted and never saw each other again.
About 20 years later, the headlines of the Milwaukee newspaper read, "African Violet Queen of Milwaukee Dies: Mourned by Thousands."
We become fully alive when our passion is used in service. As we continue to grow together as Christ's church, it's important to think about our invitation to church to be an invitation to service. If you've been wondering what to do next in your life, why not bring your passion and share it with us through service?
Prayer for Today
Reignite in us our passion to serve, O Most High, so that we rediscover our purpose through the love we share with others. Amen.