Janie pushed the covers away and sat on the edge of the bed. She must’ve gained ten pounds over the Christmas holidays. Her head felt as if it were stuffed with cotton. All she wanted to do was crawl back into bed and shut out the world.
Christmas had been fun. Her kids and grandchildren had filled the house with laughter and activity as they flitted from one activity to another. Christmas morning, as they opened their gifts and thanked each other, brought back the past when Tom had been with them.
A heavy weight settled on Janie’s heart as she thought of her husband. He’d been gone three years. At times that was a lifetime—other times, only yesterday. How she missed him, especially during and after the holidays.
She rose and dressed in sweats. Tom had called them her comfort clothing. He was right, but she was determined to get through another day somehow. She made it as far as her recliner in the living room before the cordless phone, lying on the table beside her, rang. She’d ignore it.
It rang again. And again.
All right, already! Might as well answer and get it over with. She snatched it up. “Hello?”
“Hi, Janie?” Georgia’s cheerful voice seemed out of place in Janie’s present mood. “Say, would you be interested in filling in for me at the nursing home’s first-of-the-month service? All you have to do is be there at ten this morning and play the piano.”
“Oh, Georgia, I don’t know. I don’t really—”
“They’ll just be singing the old familiar hymns. You could play them from memory, but you’ll have a book too, of course. And you know how easy Jennifer is to play for when she leads the songs.” Georgia laughed. “I wouldn’t be asking but I just got the all-important call from my son-in-law. Chloe is having her baby! I’m so excited, I can’t stand it. My first granddaughter, and I’ve got to be there. I’m sure you remember what it’s like.”
A smile touched Janie’s lips. “Yes, I remember.”
“Oh, wonderful! Then you will?” Georgia’s voice bubbled over the line. “Thank you! Thank you so much. You don’t know what this means to me. I didn’t want to disappoint the folks at the home, but I can’t miss our baby’s birth either.”
“Of course, you can’t.” Janie rose and headed toward her bedroom. “I’ll get off here and let you go to the hospital. I need to get ready if I’m going to play.”
“Thanks again, Janie!” A click ended the call.
Janie’s step was light as she rushed through her room and flung open the closet door. She should practice the piano more. You never know when the need might arise. It’d be good to see Jennifer and listen to her beautiful singing voice. The folks in the home were always so appreciative each month, or had been the few times Janie had helped. Just thinking about them brought another smile to her face. Maybe she would volunteer to help out. How many times had the pastor said just being there was a blessing to the other helpers as well as the folks they ministered to?
She smoothed the dress she’d put on and ran a brush through her hair. A turn before the full-length mirror to check her appearance and she was ready. Her heels clicked on the hardwood floor as she hurried to the door bringing laughter to her lips. This was exactly what she needed. As she slipped into her coat and headed outside, she prayed. “Thank You, Lord, for bringing purpose to my life. Let this not be a one-time thing, but may I serve You and those about me each day with the gifts you’ve given me. I want to feel happy not sad living a life with no meaning.”
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22.
As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. I Peter 4:10