I serve at a homeless shelter a couple times a month. My buddy does a bible study and I play guitar for those who come for dinner.
I usually go early enough to eat dinner with the attendees. As I am going through the food line I thank the servers for their time and kindness. Several months ago I thanked a gentleman behind the counter. He responded; “This is our opportunity to spend time with our grandchildren!” He then introduced me to his wife and two teenage granddaughters.
It was the proverbial “light bulb moment!” I thought there was a great Grandly story here, so I gave him my card and asked him to call me.
Two months went by. He hadn’t called.
“Duh! Moment #1.” Why would he call me? I should have been calling him. I hadn’t asked for his name!
“Duh! moment #2.” I missed a great opportunity to encourage another grandparent about being a strategic grandparent.
“Light bulb moment #2” followed “Duh! #2” pretty quickly. My grandchildren and I could do this charitable service. What would we talk about on the way home? Probably what we just did! It would be a Matt 25:34-40 moment. In that passage Jesus taught that when we serve others, we serve him.
Recently, my older granddaughters (aged 8 and 10) came to town for a few days. I took them to the homeless shelter with me. On the way in we talked about the rules for staying safe. (Obey the staff. Be helpful. No phone numbers.) They assisted the staff with serving the dinner and me with putting out songbooks and bibles and replacing them afterward for the bible study. On the way home I asked them if they saw Jesus when we were at the shelter. They saw right through my question and we talked about how loving strangers was loving Jesus.
It was a perfect “Thank you, Lord, moment.”
For Discussion: What service are you already doing for others that you could include your grandchildren in?
For Action: Bring them along and write an article for us all!
Tim DeWaters lives in Jackson, Michigan and has nine grandchildren.
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