I recently had an experience that changed my idea of service. It started when a professor of mine gave everyone in the class a one dollar bill. Our assignment was to find someone who really needed help and find a way to serve them using just the dollar we were given.
I did not think much about the assignment. In fact, I gave my dollar to a little boy so he could get a snack while he waited for his parents.
The day the assignment was due, a girl got up to talk about her experience. She said that everyone in the class got together to do their service project because if they combined their dollars they would have more to help someone.
I felt completely out of place because I had no idea what they were talking about.
The girl walked over and put a cardboard box on my desk and then she said, “Ryanne, this class loves you for your strength. We each started out with just a dollar, but we were able to put our dollars together and collect some from other people to give to you to help you pay for your arthritis medicine.”
Each member of the class took turns going up to the front and telling me why they loved me. Then they took the money they had raised and placed it in the box.
There were only 10 people in my class, but all together they had raised a few hundred dollars because they cared about me. I was so touched. And I was so impressed and grateful for the thought they had put into the assignment and the caring they showed to me. I was very appreciative of the money because it would help me get medicines that I needed.
The point my professor was trying to make was that everyone is blessed with gifts and talents. It is up to each of us to come up with ways to share our gifts and talents to serve those around us (see Matthew 25:14–30). I learned how wonderful, sincere, and thoughtful service can be.
In my case, my classmates were able to find a way to use their dollars to impact my life. It was more than just the money; it was friendship.
Photograph ©iStockphoto.com/Tobias Keckel