The Candy Cane Lady…

There she was, close to the front row in the center section.  Roberta Jones.

If you have some history at St. John, you know who I am talking about.

I did not know her that well but I knew Roberta had been around for quite some time.

She came to church every Sunday and usually wore a hat in a day when women no longer wore hats.

Even when her health was giving her problems, she came to church.

I remember she was the lady who always gave the children candy canes for the candy cane Christmas story at the “Children’s Moment” part of the worship service.  You could always count on her candy canes.

Later in life, Miss Roberta could not do much but she did what she could do.

Today, churches are full of people who have decided that they can’t do anything.  Sure, as we get older it gets harder to help out,  but there is something for everyone to do.  Especially as we enter VBS season.

About this time of year, I hear the same refrains.  “It is time to let the young ones do the work.”  “I’m too old to help.”  “My kids are grown and there is no need for me to be involved.”  All these comments would not “fly” with people like Miss Roberta.

You see, some people feel like they are going to perform acts of service as long as they can.

Granted I have known some people who don’t age well.  As they get older, they just give up.  My father was one of those people.  I loved him but he was a man who could only do “man-sized” things.  As he aged and his body failed him, he would not be content with doing small things, things that were still helpful even though they were small.  He just gave up.  He spent most of his days with the television set, unable to motivate himself to action.

I believe God wants us to use what we have, even though it may be hard, even though the activity may be small.

Some will say again this year that VBS is “beyond them”.  They can’t participate.

But look at this partial list of jobs and the levels of activity associated with each act of service: kitchen duty, cook, server and kitchen cleaner.  Teacher or station leader.  Group leader/s.  Photographer.  Registration Helper.  Roamer for Safe Sanctuary.  Runner for Messages.  Runner for Emergency Supplies.  Decoration Helpers.  Funds need to be Donated for supplies and food.  Cookies can be baked for the kids.  The playground can be cleaned up prior to VBS.  People are needed to help tear down VBS.  There are even more jobs than this.

Surely there is somewhere where everyone can fit in, no matter your skills, no matter your activity level.

If you just can’t see where you belong, maybe you could spend time in serious prayer for VBS and Anita Murphy, the Director of Children and Youth [the VBS Director].

We can’t all do the heavy lifting but that’s ok.  VBS is a big job and for it to be a success, we need to all pull together as a church.

Dr. Chapman gives us ideas in Chapter 8 about acts of service.

Maybe VBS is your chance.

Miss Roberta would approve.

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