It’s funny how simple moments can stand out as extraordinary treasures in an ordinary day. During a recent visit to the Missionaries of Charity convent/home in Washington, D.C., I had the amazing privilege of serving the full-time residents who are cared for there by approximately 40 religious sisters (whose foundress was Mother Teresa of Calcutta) on a daily basis. Whether helping someone walk to the dining room, feeding those who can no longer do it themselves, sitting and listening to stories that might or might not be coherent, holding those who weep or helping the sisters clean and get everyone into their bed clothes, it’s nice to be able to help others in need.
Every other Sunday, the lady residents are invited to get their nails painted. As I helped various women to their seats at the dining table, I immediately noticed their freshly painted nails. One woman ( a favorite of mine named, “Sherri”) was wearing a beautiful royal blue scarf on her head and shirt of the same color that was bejeweled with diamond-looking gems. As I handed her a glass of juice, the POP of color from her ROYAL BLUE nails made me smile from ear-to-ear. I exclaimed, “Wow! Sherri, I just love your nails! They look so pretty and match your outfit perfectly!” She beamed with joy.
Then, came my favorite moment of the day–the one that God used to remind me that even though we all come from different walks in life, some rich, some poor, some educated, some less-so, some confident, some shy, some healthy, some suffering, some mentally sound, some who struggle daily–we are, in many ways, all the same. When I told Sherri how much I loved the royal blue color and that it was one of my daughter’s favorite colors, she excitedly held up both hands so I could get a better look and gleefully informed me, “I got it at the Dollar Store!” We laughed and laughed. I told her we all love “The Dollar Store” and that next time I go, I will look for that color so I can get some, too. A simple moment between two ordinary women, united as one, made in the image and likeness of God, sharing laughter, love and conversation from two very different lifestyles who were blessed to meet and synchronize through the basic, everyday treasures and pleasures of life.
Sherri inspired me further a little later in the evening. She is one of the more capable residents, meaning, she can walk on her own, and care for herself in many ways, and is of sound mind to a higher degree than some of her housemates. She takes great pride and finds much joy in a service she provides at the end of the day — re-setting the table so it will be ready for breakfast the next morning. She smiles the entire time and ever-so-carefully places each utensil, napkin, cup, etc., at every place around the quaint dining table. When I asked if she’d like any of the girls to help her, she confidently and happily declined, telling us how she can handle it and that she does the same job every day.
I went away asking the Lord to help me be more like Sherri — to joyfully and excitedly approach the mundane tasks of my ordinary days, to serve those I love and those who cross our threshold with care, attention to detail and untiring anticipation, each and every day as though each time were my first, happy to be capable and happy to help others.
Have you ever been transformed by a simple moment in an ordinary day? Share your story in the comments!
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.