She didn’t tell me this story to boast. In fact, I’m not sure she would want me to tell you her name. The only reason “Dorcas” mentioned it is because I asked her and some other new members to think about what they like to do, what they’re good at. I wanted them to understand that God gives each of us gifts, and he wants us to use them to serve others.
Dorcas told me she likes people. People are what she’s good at. My guess is she never would have claimed that as a gift from God; but it is.
When Dorcas was new to Northside, she and her husband attended our “Welcome to Northside” class where I asked everyone to think about which of the things they’re good at could be used to serve others. After a few class members shared their ideas, Dorcas told us this story about how she used her gift to serve someone else.
She had been at Walmart a couple of days earlier buying groceries when she saw a vanload of senior citizens from an assisted living home unload to do some shopping. Apparently this group was supposed to have been met by several Walmart employees who were to have helped the ones who needed it. Unfortunately, those employees were late because of a meeting they were in.
While most of the group members were waiting patiently for them to arrive, one poor woman became extremely upset. Dorcas wasn’t clear at first what the problem was, but when she went up and asked if she could help, she learned the woman was just very disappointed she couldn’t get started with her shopping. She was in a motorized wheelchair and couldn’t reach all the shelves on her own.
Dorcas then told the woman and the van driver that she would be happy to help her shop if that would be okay. They both agreed, and Dorcas phoned her husband to tell him she was going to be late.
She had a wonderful time helping this woman. They laughed and talked, and the woman really appreciated her help. It made Dorcas feel good to know she could share God’s love with one of his children in this way.
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul lists seven spiritual gifts, and “showing mercy” is one of them. That’s the gift Dorcas was using when she helped the woman with her shopping.
What are your gifts? Are you using them to serve others?