My friend John Crandall signs his emails, “At your service,” which always makes me smile. He truly is a man in service to others—no, he is not a minister or chaplain or doctor, though he informally ministers to others all the time… not in a religious sense, but as a verb: “to give service, care or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities: to minister to the needs of the hungry” (dictionary.com).
He gives away so much of himself—as a writer and writing group facilitator, as a blacksmith, as a psychologist leading an anger management group, as cook/caterer, as husband to one and friend to so many others. And yet John would tell you, without a trace of irony, that this is what makes him happy, what fuels him, that in serving others he serves himself, too.
Some time ago I came across this quote by Jennifer Hoffman from “Uriel Heals”:
You are here to serve others, to be a light for them, to participate in their lessons and to help heal humanity. You are also here to serve yourself, to heal your karma, to enable your soul’s growth and reconnect to the Source. Your challenge is to find a balance between serving others and yourself so that you can accomplish the tasks that you established for yourself in this lifetime and even go beyond that. How you view your role in serving others is an important part of this process.
Neale Donald Walsch, author of the Conversations With God books, sends free daily inspirations (sign up at http://www.nealedonaldwalsch.com), and I saved this one:
On this day of your life, dear friend, I believe God wants you to know that your job, your invitation from the Universe, is to give people back to themselves.
You can do this every day, in a hundred ways. Why not practice it with the first three people you encounter after reading this?
It is really a very easy thing to do, yet it can affect a person mightily. All you have to do is look for the best in that person, and then show it to him or her, right then and there. Describe it. Admire it. Thank him or her for it.
Do this for three people every day and watch how your whole life can change. At last you will realize what you are doing here. All the rest will be just stuff and nonsense.
This is the essence of what my friend John does—and what so many others do, too. Be a light for others. Give people back to themselves, as well as serving ourselves and healing our own karma. No small tasks. But really not difficult either.
Let’s try that, shall we? Let’s put it out there. Let’s ask every day: How may I serve? How can I find balance in serving others and myself? The ways will appear. I promise.
Jan, Jan, Jan
You bring tears to these eyes. That is a big thing for me to swallow but I will do as I am told (thank you Jan and Joan and many others) and take it in. I would like to say more but for now, I am speechless.
John, John, John… I mean every word. You inspire me!
Jan, you got to stop making people cry (joking). You do touch us.