A New Kind of Bucket List

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Do you have a “Bucket List?”

Usually we think of this list including all kinds of wonderful places to go, things to do and people to meet before we die.  I have a bucket list, and already I have checked off a few of things on mine such as; buying a “fixer upper” home, living in the high desert, and teaching in a one teacher school house.

Recently I have noticed that the majority of bucket lists are mostly about ourselves.  What would a bucket list look like if it was about serving others?  In the end of life, it really is all about relationships, not the places we have traveled or the mountains we have climbed.

A Service Bucket List

Maybe I should consider a few questions to help me create a different kind of bucket list ~ a service bucket.  How do I want to be remembered?   Was I a good comforter to those who suffer?  Did I say and do things that brought relief instead of adding pain?  What do I need to become skillful and caring when others are hurting?

If we put compassion and comfort in our service bucket the list might look like this:

  • Be there when others are in crisis~visit, sit with them, offer to drive, collect their mail, share a meal, fix a meal
  • Be still and listen to a hurting friend~say little and listen big, offer your hand to hold, give a hug, embrace
  • Weep with those who weep~welcome the tears–even yours, let them know tears are healing
  • Think of what it is like for the grieving during holidays and do something about it~overtake isolation with inclusion
  • Stay in touch with the bereaved~notes, emails, texts, phone messages–do what it takes to stay connected
  • Keep those who mourn in my prayers~the God of all comfort is eager to be called upon to comfort your loved one
  • Look for opportunities to comfort and support others everyday~send flowers 6 months out, offer to watch the children, go for a walk together
  • Welcome those in need of comfort as recipients of your service bucket rather than interruptions in your schedule

How many of us have really thought intentionally about how we want to support others who are experiencing losses?  Have we given much thought to being prepared so we can reach out with genuine helpfulness when the life of another implodes?  Somehow being ready to help others when they need our support seems really useful.  This is a great motto when I apply it: “A ready person never has to get ready.”  Are you ready to help a grieving friend?  If not, I hope you take a few minutes to read Conversations for the Comforter and discover how to be there for others.*

A Bucket that Spills Over

I am thinking that I want a really small service bucket, not so I can be miserly about compassion and comfort.  No, I want a small bucket so it keeps spilling over with the stuff that really matters in life ~ being there for others who suffer.  I want my service bucket pouring its contents all over others, knowing that God will keep an endless supply of comfort, kindness, thoughtfulness, and love flowing into it.

*Another great resource I just discovered is: “The Art of Helping” by Lauren Litetauer Briggs.

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