Ten wonderful days of serving
Published 10:15 pm Friday, January 10, 2020
By Kathy Nuckols Rose
It’s after 11 p.m., and I should be pulling D’s clothes out of the dryer! I should be working on my eighth cup of coffee! Earlier, I should have stuck my head into the TV room and asked J if he wanted a snack or refill on his drink. And I’d glance over at C, whose eyes were so fixed on the TV show, he doesn’t even see or hear me.
I’d stick my head into the sleeping area and ask M and T to lower their voices, as A and C were already sleeping. C would be across the room, playing on her phone. My coffee partner would be snuggling around her “pillow” — actually a towel that she asked for, promising me she was using it to bathe. I knew better! (Another bent rule.)
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Early in the evening, J and T would be involved in a mean game of Uno with some of the volunteers’ kids. I should be getting ready to fix lunches, making sure A and K got “fold over” PB and J sandwiches, D never got meat, and T only got turkey or chicken.
Lights down low, it slowly gets quieter, except for the snoring coming from K across the room. D comes out for the third time and gets something to drink. He has a hard time settling down. As I tiptoe down the hall, all three moms and their children are settled and asleep, and I pray that life gets easier for them.
This went on for 10 days — 10 wonderful days of serving, helping and enjoying the moments I could just be there to serve. By 7 each morning they were gone. Gone where? I don’t really know, and it saddens me, worries me and frightens me. And I anxiously wait for 6:30 p.m., and I smile as each one walks through the church doors, and I welcome them with a smile, and the volunteers are ready to serve food, conversation, love and laughter. And it’s those times friendships are formed. We bond, we care and we try so hard to encourage!
I’m sitting in my home right now, and my new friends are tucked into a different church, a different area and are meeting new friends — friends who are also serving. We sometimes tend to get so involved in church activities, we forget the reason we want to be involved. We feel the tug deep within to serve, but it gets smothered by each of us “playing church.” Are we truly serving? God is calling each of us to go out and evangelize, to spread His word. Sometimes the best way to show others the love you have for the Lord is through your actions. I’m not one to spew out scriptures, to quote Biblical stories or give heart-wrenching prayers — but I can serve. I can give my time and a part of me. I can get that extra drink, fold the 258th towel, wipe a toddler’s mouth, scoop up another helping of egg casserole and pack a brown lunch bag full of goodies. I can rush them out the door and pray they come back.
I miss them already. I miss the long hours through the night, wiping off tables, checking schedules, organizing meals, holding babies and laughing with our guests.
I should have picked some type of serving as my occupation, as when I serve, I feel like I’m truly working for God. I’m doing His work here on earth. There’s no other feeling like this, the satisfaction of helping others. So I wait for the next opportunity to serve with the Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk’s Night Stay program. When I do for others, I am the one who gets blessed!
Kathy Nuckols Rose was born and raised in Suffolk and has been a member of Southside Baptist Church since 2004. She has been involved with CAPS for more than four years and is a coordinator for the first time this year. She works for Suffolk Public Schools.