devozine

Spiritual Practice

HANDS IN SERVICE

Caleb, Michelle, Kassidy & Sarah

Each of us can make a difference in the world. Most of us can use our hands to make, to serve, to help, and to restore. In these ways we reflect the image of our Creator God.

 

Putting Love into Action

During my freshman year of high school, I was part of a tornado relief team in Moore, Oklahoma. A tornado had ripped through the city months before and left many houses damaged. My group was asked to rebuild a roof for an older woman. The work was grueling, but seeing the smile she gave us when we were done gratified the whole team. She asked us how much she owed us; our response was simply, “It’s on us.”

The woman had never experienced love like that. One night her whole family came to worship. She told stories of our loving deeds and our patience with one another, even as temperatures had risen as high as 102 degrees. As she continued to express her gratitude, I realized how much a small act of service can mean.

—Caleb Wess, 20

 

Building a Home

Summer 2017 found my youth group and me in Elkhart, Indiana, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity—a program that builds houses for people who need them. The house we helped to build was for a single mother and her son. During the week my team installed nine doors and assisted others with cutting and installing base boards.

A few weeks after we left Elkhart, we received pictures of the finished house. Finally in a home of their own, the family looked so happy. Working on this Habitat house gave me a better understanding of how I can help others.

—Michelle Ankrum, 20

 

Restoring Cemeteries

Most of the cemeteries in my town had long been in terrible condition—grass was overgrown, grave markers were toppled over, and fences were filthy with years of dirt and grime. About two years ago I decided that I wanted to do something about this situation. I’m now working to preserve cemeteries throughout my county by mowing the grounds, uprighting fallen grave markers, and cleaning fences. Finally, I see real improvement!

I often wonder if we look like those neglected cemeteries. Is hate overgrowing our kindness? Are our lives out of balance and toppled over? Do our souls need a refresh? Thankfully, God embraces us just as we are. And little by little, God can change us for the better.

—Kassidy Cobb, 17

 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.
Colossians 3:23 (GNT)

DIG DEEPER

Seeing Work as Prayer

I love to pray through good works. Serving others makes me feel close to God. When I work with other people to rebuild homes or lives, I don’t mind getting dirty and sweaty. I’m grateful that I can make a difference. This summer, what projects and acts of kindness will you undertake to serve others?

—Sarah Klauda

—from devozine (May/June 2019). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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