Helping Mildred started simply enough one night when I asked her if she’d like a ride home. I’d just said good night to my dad and was on my way out of the retirement home where he lived and Mildred worked as the evening receptionist. “That would be great,” she said. “It’ll save me cab fare.”
That was nine years ago. Mildred retired last spring at 95. So I pick her up at her house now. But that’s about all that’s changed. My friends think I do something special. I get a lot of credit for helping Mildred. The truth is, it’s Mildred who’s helped me learn what helping is all about. Mildred bakes for everybody: a friend who’s recovering from surgery; the next-door neighbor who shovels her walk; for coffee hour at the church; a young man from Jamaica whom she looks out for.
Mildred is grateful for the rides to the store, and she thanks me. But she also expects them because it’s what I can do. Mildred’s shown me that helping is how we get the job done of being the Body of Christ—together.
This message was adapted from “Helping Mildred” by Kathleen Kastilahn that first appeared in the April 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.