When I was just a little girl
Mrs Hadley lived next door.
She was so very old and frail.
I always swept her stairs.
That’s when I first wanted to be a volunteer.
At twelve-years-old, I befriended Mrs Jones.
I’d take her little Sally for a visit to the park.
I pushed her child-size wheel-chair, right down to the pond.
We often sat and laughed for hours-- feeding baby ducks.
I learnt very early the simple pleasures of a volunteer.
Church offices were a specialty
printing this and stapling that.
Answering telephones filled my day.
Some of the answers I didn’t have.
“Sorry,” I used to say, “I’m just a volunteer.”
Fire once destroyed a town, twenty miles away.
Tornados blew the roofs off houses in 1989.
Sometimes heavy rains and floods, threatened livelihoods.
Many meals I have made. No one ever had to ask.
I was only one of many dedicated volunteers.
Nursing homes were my treat.
Poor Mr Horace was losing his mind.
He always wanted me to serve him tea.
You see, his room was numbered, 747.
He thought I was an Airline-volunteer.
Shopping bags were always heavy and errands to be done.
The hills were always steep. I never drove a car.
For the house-bound widow, I’d go that extra mile.
To complain is something I could never do, because,
I was Mrs Cooper’s volunteer.
Pastor Paul retired a little while ago.
50 years of service needed celebrating.
Volunteers were needed to decorate the hall.
My hand shot up, I couldn’t help it.
I‘ve always been a volunteer.
I remember the years I visited the dying and the sick.
Tears flow unrestrained, down my sunken cheeks.
I’ve held the hand of a mother whose child was going to die
and led many cancer patients through the sinner’s prayer.
Jesus, I wasn’t just a volunteer.
Yesterday, I turned seventy five.
The boy next door swept my porch.
He wanted me to tell a story
but all I could think of was:
My life I spent as a volunteer.
Now, my only visits are with young Billy Barnes.
He was blinded by a blast in the Iraq war.
Every evening we share a laugh and a piece of cake,
after I read him the daily news, of course.
I think I’ll always be a volunteer.
One day when I go home to glory,
I’d love to serve my Jesus there.
Maybe I can be a volunteer.
But, it would be really nice to hear my Jesus say,
“Well done, you good and faithful volunteer.”
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