Serve with Gladness

by John Nolan

God works in mysterious ways and is everywhere – even at convenience stores.

(I offer this as a lighter-side item, in an attempt to momentarily offset the bombardment of much more serious challenges that our society is confronting.)

The dashboard light in my car told me that my tires needed inflating. I pulled into one of those convenience stores with gasoline and air pumps. I slipped my credit card into the air pump and got – nothing. The machine wasn't working.

Inside, an employee apologetically informed me that the air pump was rented from another company and that, other than reporting the problem, she was unable to get the machine to work or refund my whopping $1.75 investment.

Another employee overheard the conversation and saved the day. He said he owns a small hand-held pump that plugs into a car's cigarette lighter and inflates the tires. (It is an ingenious device that I didn't know existed.)


He generously took 10 minutes of his time to inflate my tires and mentioned that he had done the same thing for several other customers that same afternoon. I was beginning to think of him as the Good Samaritan of tire inflation. God bless him.

I thanked him, we elbow-bumped and I was on my way. It was a simple reminder to me of what we are told at St. Barnabas: that we are all ministers of the church and that, regardless of how we spend our Sundays and whether we regularly attend church, we can do things to help others and at least momentarily brighten someone's daily existence.

From the Book of Common Prayer:

Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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