Friday, March 8, 2013

You Are The World's Seasoning

"You are the world's seasoning, to make it tolerable.  If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world?"  Matthew 5:13

Pillows I made for the bus kids.
     Working as a school bus monitor has been added to my growing list of life's experiences. At first, I wasn't too excited about it - getting up at 4:30 am is not my cup of tea as I am generally a night owl.  And I am a writer, this is not exactly how I wanted to spend my time. Yet, I love being around kids and children - have taught Sunday School, served as a Christian Education and Youth Director and worked as a sub para in area schools.
    Mainly, I needed a job and this was the only one that had come along in months.  Like the rest of the country, I have been caught in the net of a growing number of unemployed.  I have been searching diligently for another job to add to the 20 hours the bus job provided.
     As I reflect upon it, I am convinced that no matter where God puts us in this world - wherever we work, live, or go - we can serve Him and add some of His divine seasoning to other people's lives.  
     This particular bus was a two hour rural route over some pretty bumpy, washboard country roads.  My job was to assist the handicapped children on the route - one was in a wheelchair and once off the lift, I secured his chair to the floor of the bus.  The other was a student with Downs Syndrome who needed to be buckled into a secure seat and watched over. There were kids on the bus from grades K-high school and I came to know each by name as time went on and their unique personalities.
    If only for a short time,  I thank God for the opportunity this job provided - it was a unique way to serve Him - caring for some of God's special children and teenagers.  And there was an added bonus, the bus driver was a pastor and former classmate I had known for ages.  Another one of those "God things".
     One day I noticed the one little handicapped boy and some others who would sometimes fall asleep on the bus, their heads bobbing to and fro and seemingly so uncomfortable.
     Years before, my oldest granddaughter Kate had made me a neck bone pillow that I sometimes brought with me on the bus and used at home too.  If it supported my head and brought comfort - I thought, such a pillow just might do the same for the kids.  I believe God prompted me to take action.
     So, I started gathering information - each kid's interests, favorite colors and etc.  I think they were shocked someone they barely knew would care enough to make each one of them a pillow.
      "You would do that for us?" was one middle school girl's response.   "Well, yes, I will," I replied with a smile.
     Now, my next challenge, what about finding all the different fabric?  And how to pay for it?  I had a nearly new sewing machine so that was no problem. Batting was on sale at the local fabric store and a friend picked up some at a second hand store.
     I asked a quilting friend if she might have some remnants I could purchase.  "Sure do," she said, without any hesitation.  A radiant Christian, she belongs to a quilting club and the other members had fabric too - we made an exchange and they would take nothing for the fabric.  I praised God.
     What was unique about the mixture of material was that all the colors and interests the kids had mentioned were included.  Now, that has got to be another "God thing", I thought!
      Once I began the project, some of the kids asked for different shapes - well, I suppose I could do that too I thought.  So, making them was so enjoyable - each one unique and special for each student.
     Some of the kids carried them in their backpacks, others took them home and some were kept in a large bag on the bus so they could use them when needed.  They were so grateful and it made me smile:-)
     Unfortunately I have not been able to find another job to supplement the bus income which was not nearly enough. In addition, the daily rough ride  did my recurred hiatal hernia no favors and worsened symptoms.  With thought and prayer, I decided to move to another part of the country to look for work and seek medical treatment. And I am literally waiting upon the Lord. 
    It was hard to say goodbye to the kids. But I am hoping that they saw some of Christ in me not only during my time on the bus and via interactions with them but when they use the pillows I made.  Maybe I will be remembered as the "pillow lady" - ha! 
    But, the most important thing I hope and pray for is that they remember this:  "Someone cared about me, one of the kids on the bus.  A very simple act of love God planted in a bus monitor's heart spilled over to me.  
     This is more than just a fluffy, colorful pillow. . . . . . . it reflects the unconditional love of God and brings me some comfort on the long ride bus to and from school.  Maybe I should do something to help someone else?  Maybe I should get to know Jesus better?"
     If my actions planted even a single seed of love for God in one of their hearts or caused them to ponder why I did what I did. . . . it will have been worth every stitch.
     Another reflection: I got a good glimpse into the lives of school children through this job.  It is a tough world for some of them and they need lots of love.  The world is such a busy place, who takes the time to really care?  I know some do - I met them while on the job.
     I think God calls us to care and be different than those who do not know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  What do you think?
     Can you share a time when God dropped a loving idea into your heart and you added some of His divine seasoning to a situation?
God Bless. . . . . . . Carole


Melissa Marsh said...

I am sure that you planted some seeds with those kids - your wonderful acts of kindness will be remembered by them for a long time to come.

Carole said...

I hope so:-)

Heathers Meadow said...

Carol, I loved this post. I am going to become a regular follower. I believe God led me to you this morning. I was listening to the radio and they were asking people how do you get to show Christs love on the job. Then I read your post. I work with the seniors in our town and I always play the Christian radio station while driving them. I know that many of those folks need to hear something really encouraging, and I just know in my heart that the music speaks to them. There is also one girl I drive (she is in her early 20s) with Downs Syndrome. She always falls asleep in the car on the way home from work. I think I will try my hand at making her a pillow. Maybe you should consider making pillows and selling them on ETSY. You can get tons of fabric at Garage and yard sales (that's where I have gotten most of mine) and then sell some of the pillows and also you could give some away. Just a thought. Hope to see you around the "Meadow" again : ) -Heather

Carole said...

Hi Heather:-) So nice of you to stop by and read my blog - so glad it was a blessing to you - thanks for the ideas too and I hope you can make a pillow for your special passenger:-)
God Bless!

Covnitkepr1 said...

It is so uplifting to read a story about how someone allows God to use them. Thank you for sharing and for being a Jesus follower.

Nancy B said...

Carole, you are one of the most kind hearted giving people I have met. You show kindness even when you were not given kindness in return. Keep up the Godly work! You are an inspiration to many of us.