Gratitude Day 548

Tues., Dec. 29, 2020

Matthew 23:11 – The greatest among you will be the one who always serves others from the heart.

It’s always a good day when someone else comes up with a great idea.

Today is “Giving Tuesday” – when we explore ways that we can bless others by serving them. A great lesson from Giving Tuesday? When we share with others, it’s most often ourselves that come away blessed.

A few days ago, my dear friend Rhoda had a great idea. A fellow piano player, maybe she and I could provide a little concert for my Aunt Beverly … virtually.

My Aunt Beverly lives in an assisted living in Colorado. Since March 8, Aunt Beverly has been basically confined to her room. Because of COVID-19, Aunt Beverly and the rest of the residents at her facility have received all of their meals in their rooms for the last ten months. All social interactions are highly coordinated and regulated. Like so many other care facilities, daily life has been highly disrupted. As Aunt Beverly has shared so many times, this has been the most difficult event in her entire life.

A few weeks into the pandemic, I began calling Aunt Beverly every Sunday. One of the things she missed the most was a weekly worship time. Her daughter, Susan, asked if I could provide a time where Aunt Beverly and I could connect with God.  Thankfully, Aunt Beverly has an Alexa with a screen which means we can actually see each other during our Sunday visits.

Sometimes, a couple friends of mine join in our call to Aunt Beverly. It’s been so rewarding for my friends, Rhoda and Mary, as well as Aunt Beverly. Beverly says she has met some new Wisconsin friends while Rhoda and Mary love visiting with Aunt Beverly. It’s been a win-win situation for all involved.

As Christmas neared, Rhoda suggested that maybe we could give Aunt Beverly her own special Christmas concert. Could we play Christmas carols and Beverly hear them other her Alexa?

Certainly, we could.

And we did.

Last Sunday, Rhoda and I sat down at her piano with a few Christmas songbooks. I’d brought along a little book that tells the history of various Christmas carols. For 45 minutes, we played carol after carol, watching Aunt Beverly sing along when she knew the words. We played songs she requested, carols we love and those that everyone knows.

I’m not quite sure who loved it more: Aunt Beverly or Rhoda and me.

Several times, Aunt Beverly thanked us over and over for providing her a private Christmas concert. While we couldn’t be with her over the holidays nor could Beverly be present at an in-person worship service, we could do our absolute best to allow her a few minutes of carol pleasure.

I’m so happy Rhoda came up with this idea. I wished that I would have thought of it. In the end it doesn’t matter whose idea it was. More importantly, we just needed to play carol after carol.

Why do I share this little story? It embodies some of the most important aspects of serving others. It came from the heart. The gift required nothing other than a little time and a couple songbooks. Yet, the joy it brought to Aunt Beverly? Priceless.

Yes, Christmas Day is past. Yet, the season of Christmas continues for 12 days after December 25. We have several days where we can touch another person’s heart. All that is necessary is a little idea and a heart ready to serve.

Yes, it’s important we be safe right now. Yes, we might have to be creative and explore a way of serving someone else in a new and different way. But when we do, it’s amazing what just might happen.

It’s Giving Tuesday. A day when let’s think of how we might serve another … with a giving heart. I pray our little carol concert for Aunt Beverly will encourage you to come up with your own Giving Tuesday story.

For the joy of serving another from the heart, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – so often, we think that serving another person requires a lot of money or impact or time. What we fail to remember is that the most profound and impactful ways we can serve one another area also the simplest. Place on our hearts and minds a way that we can bless another person through a small act of service. Open our hearts into being people who love to serve from the heart. Amen.

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