When we think of the title ‘Service Provider,’ very often our minds go to our auto mechanic, our telephone and internet provider, or our computer repairman. Nearly sixteen years ago, I left teaching to join my husband in his business. As a Kiwi service provider for computer customers all the way from Wellington to Auckland, Mike’s dream was to open a full service shop where people could get practical advice, purchase good quality hardware, and have access to trustworthy repairs and training. Michael Hill Computers Ltd. finally found a home, and in me, a fulltime partner.
As most reputable business people will tell you, providing a good service is the key to earning a good living. But making a good living is not the main reason for being of service to others. Mark 10:45 states, “For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve…” Chapter 6, III:8 of A Course in Miracles says, “Teach only love, and learn that love is yours and you are love.”
After succumbing to a head-cold for the past week, this morning I had just enough energy to do something I haven’t done for a very long time. I sat and hand sewed my daughter’s torn stuffed penguin and the knees of two of my son’s favorite pants. As you can clearly see, I am not much of a sewer, but when Riley tried to sneak off to school in them for what has got to be at least the tenth time, I knew I had to put aside my aversion to sewing and be of service.
Of course sewing the knees in your kid’s pants, and ripped behind of a beloved toy is not a huge imposition, never-the-less, for me at least, it is time-consuming. And isn’t time perceived to be one of the hugest commodities there is these days?
As with any illness, this cold has made me slow down, spend more time with myself, pray, and hold lengthy conversations with my angels. Yesterday seemed to be the climax. Just when I thought the worst was over, I opened my eyes first thing in the morning, whispered to my husband, “I just can’t get out of bed,” and promptly fell back to sleep. Spending most of the day in bed, I spoke in short quiet whispers to Raphael. “I am here,” came his perpetual response.
During the few waking hours that I had yesterday, I noticed my husband standing at the kitchen counter making me soup (which I couldn’t eat) at lunchtime, only to return home early from work that evening with groceries, and a plan for getting me to eat dinner. My mother who, due to a bad fall cannot get out of her house easily, txt me nearly every hour to make sure I was okay. Finally my children, who, reluctant to go to school that morning – my kids love school – because they wanted to stay home to take care of mom, returned home in record time once their day was done. Talk about service!
Being a service provider does not extend itself only to our children, those who are sick, or those who have money to spare. Being of service extends to all living things. Some people physically serve by caring for our planet, the homeless, the abused. Others look for more spiritual ways to serve. A combination of the two is obviously best.
Still, service is service no matter how you perform it. In these pictures, you can see my daughter, Kate with our dog, Harry. With his long, thick fur, and his love of the snow, Harry is in constant need of help to remove large balls of compressed snow from deep within the under pads of his paws. This is where my daughter Kate feels most helpful. Sitting at Harry’s feet, she has learned how to gently remove the built up snow before it becomes too painful for Harry to stand. With kind, gentle words, she reassures Harry that he’ll feel warm again very soon. After all the snow is removed, she tells him he is a good dog and gives him a treat. He eats, while Kate cleans up the wet messy floor. Her treat is knowing that she has performed an act of kindness for her dog. While Harry feels warm (and literally fuzzy), so too does Kate.
No matter what your idea of service is, don’t dismiss it. That warm, fuzzy feeling you get from being a service provider is your divine guide’s way of saying, “You did good.” As Jesus taught us so many years ago. It is not in being served, but in serving that we find our greatest strength.