Service – The Box Top and Cloak Room Caring


Service is a beautiful gift, especially when you anticipate what is needed and give in joy.

Some people “get” service and some don’t.

The Box Top

A woman in her eighties enters a doughnut shop with a cane. She has trouble opening the heavy door. Not one of the servers assist her.

She shuffles to the counter and orders a box of doughnuts. The server whips out a tissue and grabs donuts of the woman’s choice.

Next, the server attempts to fit the box top into the grooves of the box so it stays closed. Unsuccessful, she shrugs her shoulders and pushes the box toward the woman. The lid undone, pops open.

No service here.

The woman looks up at the server who has turned her back to her. Realizing the server is of no service, she turns the box around so the opening faces her. She takes her time; and even with arthritic hands, fits the top into the grooves to latch it shut.

Satisfied with her efforts, she turns the box back around and gently taps the top with a gesture that says, “There! As it should be.” She pays her bill.

To leave the store, the woman has to juggle the box of twelve doughnuts and the use of her cane. Struggling not to drop the box, she slowly makes her way to the door,

Finally, help.

A patron, seeing her challenge, took her box of doughnuts and kindly, opened the door for her. He happily carried the box out to her car.

Not “getting” service.

Not one of the servers anticipated the points of her need. They didn’t open the heavy door; ensure the top was closed nor realize she might have a hard time carrying the box. They certainly did not consider her difficulty in opening the door to leave.

Cloak Room Caring

On the other hand, a five-year-old little girl in kindergarten “gets” it.

She loves it when there is a recess or when it’s time for leaving. It is her time of service. She makes it a point to remember what many of the kids wore and who might need help.

Service at the time of need.

When the weather is cold, she brings some of her classmates’ gloves, hats, or something else they might need.

Frequently, she tells her mom that so and so looks sad today. To make them feel good, she makes a flower, a sun or rainbow on a piece of paper and gives it to them.

No one really taught her this, she does it because it’s the good thing to do, and likes the happy way others feel.

People are ready to serve because they desire to serve.

Our serving well requires being ready to serve.

Our desire to serve motivates our putting our attention on others and thinking in advance of their need.

What matters is our willingness to serve because we desire to, not because we have to.

Being a cheerful giver is indeed a beautiful gift during all life’s stages.

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

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