May I Help You?

Aug 10, 2021

Don’t you find it appalling when people who make a living in service-oriented jobs act as if you are presuming upon them by expecting to receive the services they were hired to render? You walk up to a clerk at a fast food restaurant and she looks at you with that “Come-on-buddy-you’re-keeping-me-waiting-here” look.

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Or you go up to a floorwalker in one of those huge discount stores and he looks at you as if to say, “If you think I’m here to help you, you’ve got another thing coming.” Or how about the car repair man who goes, “You want it when?” and laughs at you?

When we moved into a house in New England, we immediately had septic tank problems due to the inactivity of the water system. I called a plumber and he checked it out but couldn’t determine the problem. When I asked him what I should do, he scratched his head and said, “Hard to say.” I asked him if the problem might take care of itself in time; he said, “Hard to say.”

And when I asked if there might be someone else who would know what to do, he scratched his head and said (you guessed it), “Hard to say.” My dad, who was helping me move in at the time, started calling him the hard-to-say guy. All the while I’m thinking, “Aren’t you supposed to be the person who knows about these things? Aren’t I paying you to solve my problem?”

Having said this, I have to say I love my druggist, Alana. She is the most “can-do” person I know. She is always in cheery spirits and when she says, “May I help you?” that means she is ready to put all her resources to work for you at that moment. And if it involves a problem to solve, that’s even better. “No problem,” is one of her favorite statements. And she says it with such confidence! I wish you could see her face. I’m picturing it right now and she has a little smirk that says, “Relax, John. I’ve got it covered.”

Would that we all could have such an attitude towards each other. The Bible tells us we are more than husbands and wives and sons and daughters and neighbors and friends: we are servants, and as such, we should have a continual “May I help you?” attitude towards each other. And when we face an obstacle in serving someone, we either get an answer or find someone who can.

Maybe you have an Alana in your life. Think about that person and what you can learn from her or him. We need to get used to thinking of ourselves as servants, because that is what Jesus called us to be.

Written by John Fischer, author, speaker, and song writer based in Southern California. Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash Used by permission. All rights reserved. Content distributed by > used for non-profit teaching purposes only.