Saturday, October 25, 2003

#50 Today is the 13th “Make a Difference Day”

“Make A Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others -- a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Everyone can participate. Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, Make A Difference Day is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October.” This year it is Saturday, October 25, 2003. There is a lot of hoop-la and special grants. You can nominate special volunteers, if you wish.

I won’t send in their names because it would probably embarrass them, but I can tell you that my friends Mary Jo and Sue are two people who make a difference all year long. They couldn’t be more different from each other. They are on opposite ends of the introvert/extrovert scale and one was raised a Baptist, the other a Catholic. Both are now Lutherans.

I have spent hundreds of hours with Sue because for five or six years we were in a group together that met weekly. But I hardly know her because she is a very private person. I know she has lived many places including Iran, has a southern accent, an adult daughter and two grandchildren and at one time had a career. I know “about” her, but not her. God has given her the gift of service. And she is mighty in his service. If she were so inclined, she could offer seminars on how to move to a new community and immediately make yourself useful and find friends while doing it.

Mary Jo I’ve known much longer--maybe since the 70s, but have spent less time with her. As she describes herself, “I don’t know what I think until I say it.” So I know much more about her inner life, her joys and sorrows, her family, her widowhood, and the children she loves to teach in her daily life. God has given her the gift of prayer. And she is mighty pleading at the throne of God. She actually does lead a seminar--well, she wouldn’t call it that--but we gather on Saturdays to learn and pray together and to watch and marvel at how this woman teaches and reaches, and yes, preaches the Word of God.

Making a difference, one day at a time.

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