I recently created a tiny nonprofit organization to provide little bits of help to people in my community who are experiencing sight loss. Through this work, I learned that there are tiny little things that need to be done—and there is no organized way to get them done. So, I have become a “doer of little things.” That might mean looking up phone numbers for someone who no longer can use a computer or finding local volunteers to read mail or help with errands.
I have struggled, in the wake of forced retirement, to determine my new purpose. I continue on the journey, but I have learned invaluable “little things.” The OPC has helped me in my search. I write.
First, be brutally honest with God. Tell him about the things you would never, ever agree to do. Ask him to change your heart so that you are more malleable. Go to him daily, and ask him to open your eyes to life around you. That life certainly includes your relationship with the OPC. If you are a dreamer, tell God all about those dreams, crazy as they might seem. After all, God created you and already knows all about you—and how to use you in his kingdom while also providing you with great joy in the doing.
Tell God about the things that absolutely fire you up. God wants to bring us joy and give us the desires of our hearts (Ps. 34:7). Your eventual volunteer job might be hard and taxing, but it shouldn’t be torture.
Next, fire up your computer and make lots of contacts. Sign up to become an OPC volunteer, and don't hesitate to touch base with the OPC Disaster Response Office. Become its friend; pray for its work. Tell them about all those little things you can do. When I signed up with the OPC, I basically told myself, “I DON’T want to cook for 30 people, and I know nothing about construction.” I can’t drive because I’m blind. When the option of writing came up, I never thought I’d ever be tapped. In reality, I’m now being tapped often! As a longtime newspaper reporter, I can turn around a story in hours. I can interview; I can research; I can be kind when I seek information.
A friend of mine told me something I’ve kept in my mind for life: if you’re scared about a challenge, just show up with clean pants and a shirt on. You do step 1, then step 2—you don’t do it all at once. God knows all about your fears, your perceived inadequacies, even your own unhealed hurts. As a trained counselor—something I acquired in later life—I know that the biggest need might be sitting with a person, talking, coaxing out feelings the person might be reluctant to share, even touching a shoulder or giving a hug. Think about the people who have comforted you in loss: what did they do that made you feel better? How could you pray for these people, even if you can’t go on-site?
Finally, here are two favorite Scripture verses:
If you would like to get involved with OPC Disaster Response, go to their site, OPCDisasterResponse.org and take a look around. There are many ways to serve!
Cheryl Wade is a writer and disability advocate, and a member of Christ Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Midland, Michigan.