Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, nursing homes receive more visitors. Soup kitchens get more volunteers. Christmas charities collect more gifts.
And that’s good. All good.
Some people are once-a-year volunteers because that’s all they have time for, or because opportunities are more visible then, or because they desire to help in special ways during those seasons.
All good reasons.
Yet one of the beautiful things about being a once-a-year volunteer is that it can lead to more.
Sometimes dipping a toe into new waters entices you to see if a full swim might be even more fulfilling. Then one thing leads to another, and before you know it, you’ve uncovered a surprising new calling that was never a surprise to God at all.
I’m a toe-dipper. I don’t want to commit to anything until I’ve tried it out first. Sometimes for a long while. I was a Thanksgiving-only helper for several years at a local rescue mission. Then a twice-a-year volunteer at Manna House. But now I believe in the work so much that I want to be there every week.
My only explanation for that desire is the grace of God, not because I’m nice and not because I’m particularly needed. The “good works” I offer the poor each week aren’t that great.
I know God doesn’t need my good works either. Sure, he wants me to help the needy, but not just because they need help—but because I need help, too.
Not only on special holidays. Or twice a year. Or even once a week.
I need God’s help—and God’s heart—every day.
And if caring more about the poor will turn my heart more toward his, then I thank him for that grace.
As we each dip our toes in different things this Thanksgiving season, I’m thankful for new opportunities God might be leading us to, not just on Thanksgiving, or a special holiday, but any day, every day.
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