Every once in a while, you meet someone who is special – someone who seems like she has been put on this earth to serve others. Well, Janet and I have been blessed this last year by getting to know a person who fits this description – Pat. We lovingly tease her – one of those people with a tough exterior, who is incredibly kind and soft on the inside. Several of my clients always ask about her, and one even stated that, “Pat rocks”. When I repeated this to Pat, she loved it. So now, everyone wants to know what she is up to, and even Janet jokes that Pat is the only one I allow in my office. And make no mistake, Pat does take her liberties, but always with an eye towards helping others. I think that she believes in asking forgiveness rather than permission. She is a doer, and hates standing around. She is not at her happiest unless she is busy doing things for others.
Pat stopped working in the corporate world when she hit retirement age four years ago. Since then, she has started a handy woman service, and almost nothing is beyond her ability. Last year, she thought we needed our house painted, so she got together a crew and did it – and I don’t mean just supervising – she was on the ladder herself; painting and orchestrating the effort, making sure the job met her unbelievable standards. This past Wednesday, I came home to see her on a ladder 26′ up in the air painting our front foyer – and try as I might, she just won’t slow down. Last week-end, she hung the drapes in our bedroom, and she is getting ready to repair a ceiling in that suffered ice damage this past winter. This was after she took out the old shower door, ordered the new one, and supervised its installation. I think she even ordered our mulch several days ago. She has a list of things she wants to do; and they will keep her busy for the rest of the year.
Even Lexie, our Doberman, can’t wait for Pat to come. When she sees Pat across the street, at our neighbor’s house, Lexie can hardly stand it. She cries and cries, waiting for Pat to come and visit. And if it’s near mealtime, she will actually takes Pat’s hand in her mouth and lead her to the pantry, so Pat can prepare her food. When Janet and I head out town and board Lex, Pat insists on picking her up ahead of our arrival, so we will be greeted when we get home. And next Saturday, Pat and Lexie have a sleepover planned at our house. I think you get the idea about how Pat lives her life – flat out, serving others.
But more important than what Pat does, is how she exemplifies the Kingdom of God on earth. She is a model of Christian behavior. And while many people who serve the Kingdom in this way may be very quiet, Pat’s actions speak even louder than her words. I have never seen her treat anyone with disrespect or malice. And she keeps going long after I have tired out. She has survived medical issues that would have taken most of us years ago; yet she keeps on going – day after day, month after month.
But Saturday is a special day. Because Pat is having a serious procedure done, and she needs our prayers. In Matthew, 5:8, Christ tells us, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This is certainly true with Pat. And we know that Pat has already seen glimpses of God, as is evidenced by the way she lives, and her confession of faith. Janet and I will be praying for Pat’s quick recovery and return to our lives. We ask that you will take a moment and pray for our friend as well.
My encouragement today is that you may have the good fortune to know someone like Pat. And better yet, that you will be a “Pat” to someone else who needs you. Because we live in a world where people who demonstrate almost divine kindness are in short supply, and the world is a better place when we can catch a quick look at what it looks like to be a fully devoted follower – as Christ wishes for each of us.
As we are told in John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” This is the Law of Christ, and Pat has it down cold. My prayer is that we all can learn this lesson as well as she has. Because Pat rocks!