Do I have a servant’s heart? Many of us ask this about ourselves, and based on my own experience, have discovered that we often are a servant before we even know it. It can start as simply as when there is  a need in your community you think, “How can I help this family?” And when we can’t do it alone we ask, “How can I get others involved?”

My story starts when I meet a wonderful woman with lupus who attends New Life named Kathy. She is very sick and needs lots of help to do everyday things. With only a few of us in the church community able to help at this time, I realized it was time for me to spread the word outside the church walls to see if there was anyone in the community that could help. I posted a message on the South Riding Community Page on Facebook about this woman and how she was in need of meals brought to her so she didn’t have to cook or shop.

What happened next was amazing. Within an hour, I had over 15 non-New Lifers from South Riding offer to make Kathy a meal and bring it to her! The word quickly spread and people in the post were tagging others in the community asking if they would help make a meal for her. Restaurants in the area got involved. The managers messaged me saying they had read my story about Kathy and they wanted to help any way they could. They would like to have meals brought to her as well, but not just once. They would bring hear meals once a month until she doesn’t need it anymore! It was amazing! Here I was worried about posting this need and now there are many people who don’t even know Kathy willing to help.

That’s what serving your neighbors means. A simple need arises in the community and everyone around wants to help simply because there is a need. People want to help. They just need to be asked and it’s mind blowing what happens next.

So where we stand now is that there are over 30 people wanting to help with Kathy’s needs. After I had posted, many people personally messaged me and asked what else Kathy needs. They asked if she needed bills paid, medical bills covered, someone to go grocery shopping, even rides. I was blown away! I didn’t want to ask for more because what we needed most were meals, but now I have all these people wanting to help and need to find a way for them to help in their own way. There are some who have had Lupus themselves and want to meet Kathy and help her.

We called Kathy and explained what was happening and she was overwhelmed that these wonderful people wanted to help and were not attending New Life and told her she had a very unique opportunity herself even though she was sick. We don’t know many of these people, were they Christians? Do they attend a church? Do they have needs themselves? She could use this as an opportunity to help disciple them as well.  Even though she is sick, she has an opportunity to share what she knows about God with the people who are helping her.

What happened with Kathy and the South Riding community was something I did not expect. But what a great, new opportunity we have here with this group of people. We don’t want to force Jesus on them, but by just following up with this group, talking to them, getting to know each one of them personally maybe eventually they will say, “Wow, a church did all this and they didn’t push the Bible on me. Maybe I should check this church out and see what its like.”

Is there something in your community where you can involve people to help others, supporting each other thus sharing the love of God by the way you love others? Who knows what conversations could happen because of it. Something to think about and be challenged by as we look for ways to be light and hope to our communities.