Lent is a time when one reflects on how we need to be aware of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus gave on our behalf. Lent is a time when we should look deep into how we are living our lives, and how we are being responsive to the abundance and generosity that our God continues to show.
In reflecting this Lent, I look at those around me who have been a true example of how one should live their life as an example to others in response to God’s love.
On the Monday before Christmas, my church of 20 years has taken responsibility for the staffing of all of the Salvation Army kettles in our city, 19 stations for be exact. For those 20 years, one member of my congregation has been the key organizer in getting this accomplished. This year however, due to a sudden illness, he was not able to be a part of this event. In steps the example of one who lives his life in true service to his God and to others.
I have known Tom for over 20 years as members together at our church. His children were the same ages as mine and his son was one of my Eagle Scouts. For those 20 years, we have served together on our troop’s Board of Review Committee.
When Mike became ill and was not able to be the point person, Tom stepped in as one could expect to take over. He secured the 200-plus volunteers that were needed to staff all the 19 stations. He spent the day going from station to station, making certain that all was well. The following response from the Salvation Army is a true testament to the example Tom set:
“It is The Salvation Army that should be thanking you and I do thank you. God’s love glowed from the faces of your volunteers. I’m sorry I could not meet each one of them. The Christmas Spirit was all around Greenville because of the members and friends of St. James. Your youth and scouts are delightful. You all were music to my ears and my soul. Thank you for reminding me of the reason for our season, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas and may God bless you all.
The Salvation Army of Greenville North Carolina”
As I have reflected on the ways that I should be showing my thanks for God’s abundance and generosity in my life, Tom has set the bar for me.