You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
This past Saturday, I participated in The Big Event, a day of service and community. Last year’s Big Event was hindered by snow so I was particularly excited to fully experience a tradition that exemplifies Virginia Tech’s motto, Ut Prosim.
We began our day at Wesley with a breakfast of pancakes. We split off into teams and walked over to the Drillfield. The Drillfield was vibrant and I could feel the energy of a crowd eager to begin. We grabbed the necessary tools and set off on a sweet drive to Christiansburg.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Jessica, Cassie, Delaney and I arrived at our house and met our homeowner, Dorothy, and her caregiver. Dorothy was bound to a wheelchair and therefore had a ramp leading to her home. We scraped the peeling paint off of the ramp and the cleaned windows. Midway through the morning, we met Dorothy’s grandson, Eric, and his son. Eric came with open hands and immediately started working alongside us. After the ramp was stripped and prepared, we began painting the ramp a bright hunter green. The repetitive actions required of the task proved to be a blessing, allowing conversation and laughter to flow so freely. Our conversation with Eric ranged from our childhoods to music to haircare. Sitting on one ramp, each with a paintbrush, we were completely present. Time moved too quickly and suddenly four hours passed and the ramp was freshly painted and shining.
My favorite part of the day was to see the ways in which our gifts were used. To see Cassie jump in and play sorcery games with Eric’s son in the adjacent yard. To see Delaney wholeheartedly listen and engage in conversation with Eric. To see Jessica lead with bountiful grace and joy.
With so much chaos happening in the world, what an absolute gift to have a full day to be present. This day was a reminder to value meaningful conversations and community as much as schoolwork. To jump in and begin something without a set timeline. To engage in fellowship with our neighbors. This is what it means to serve humbly in love.