I’ve been gone for a little while because there have been a lot of things going on in this golden life of mine, most of them good, but all of them seemingly vying for my immediate attention at the same time. I also wanted to wait to write my next blog post when I was truly inspired by something. Well that happened on Sunday. It seems every time I serve and volunteer my time to help others, I get back what I give tenfold and more. And when I say get something back it is almost always an inexplicable sense of peace and joy that no one could ever put a price tag on.
This Sunday some of my girlfriends and I hosted our fifth bi-annual Spa Day experience for the women of Calvary Women’s Services, a women’s shelter that provides housing, health, education and employment programs in SE, Washington, D.C. An event we’ve branded Calvary Spa Day, involves us taking over the basement of Calvary and turning it into a nearly full-service day spa offering manicures, hair styling, facials, makeup and massages to the 30 women who reside there. Expert nail technicians, hairstylists, makeup artists and aestheticians come and volunteer their time and professional services on their day off to pamper the women for an entire day. You wouldn’t believe the difference this one day makes in the lives of these women, and us volunteers too.
Many of the women at Calvary who participate have endured abusive relationships, health challenges, financial hardships and more and have found a temporary home and respite in Calvary. When we began Calvary Spa Day three years ago, our goal was to offer the ladies an experience that if only for one day would allow them to be treated like the queens they are and forget about the awful circumstances that brought them there. We’ve continued it because of the overwhelming responses we received from the ladies and their eager anticipation of the next event.
While our hope is for them to get back on their feet and move beyond Calvary, it is always a joy to see some of the residents return to spa day and talk with excitement about how beautiful they look and feel and how they are already looking forward to the next one. Hearing statements like “I’ve never felt so beautiful”, “It’s been a real long time since I felt this good about myself”, “I feel like somebody just bathed me” make all the effort and hard work we put into creating this experience absolutely worth it. Literally a transformation takes place and each woman exudes nothing but confidence, happiness and peace when we leave their presence on that day.
I leave there thinking problems…what problems do I have? I just helped to make 30 women’s day! Without offering any type of scripture, sermon, or laying of hands, I find myself ministering to the women about Christ’s love and light just by showing up and helping them to see just how beautiful they are. How amazing is that?!
When you see the impact you’ve made in someone’s life by serving them, even if it’s something you would consider a small act of kindness, it tends to shift your perspective, particularly regarding the types of silly things we worry about on a day to day basis. I know for sure this experience has offered me a new perspective and I consider it my responsibility to pay it forward. There’s a whole world out there beyond the walls of Calvary that could use a little light and love as well.