I don’t think there is anything that gives God more joy than when His children work together for each other’s benefit.
I felt His good pleasure today at the food bank where I volunteer one morning a week.
I thoroughly enjoy this opportunity to serve. There is always plenty to do—weighing donations as they arrive; checking expiration dates; pulling out-of-date items; stocking shelves; preparing USDA grocery bags; pre-packing items such as flour, sugar, and salt; filling orders for clients; breaking down boxes or organizing plastic bags.
Today we had a flurry of activity all at once: a local organization donated over 500 pounds of food that all needed to be shelved, eight clients seemed to arrive at once for supplies, and one of the volunteers had just returned from the grocery store with several carts full of bulk toiletry and pantry items that also needed shelving.
Pure delight overwhelmed me as the ten of us—all from very diverse ethnic, financial, spiritual, and educational backgrounds—worked as one to get everything completed.
In the 2016 book The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World Archbishop Desmond Tutu says, “. . . ultimately our greatest joy is when we seek to do good for others.” The Dalai Lama agrees and adds, “we are in fact one group—humanity.”
Paul expresses this similarly in 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27–
For just as the body is one but has many parts; and all the parts of the body, though many, constitute one body; so it is with the Messiah. For it was by one Spirit that we were all immersed into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free; and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
For indeed the body is not one part but many. If the foot says, “I’m not a hand, so I’m not part of the body,” that doesn’t make it stop being part of the body. And if the ear says, “I’m not an eye, so I’m not part of the body,” that doesn’t make it stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If it were all hearing, how could it smell? But as it is, God arranged each of the parts in the body exactly as he wanted them. Now if they were all just one part, where would the body be?
But as it is, there are indeed many parts, yet just one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you”; or the head to the feet, “I don’t need you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be less important turn out to be all the more necessary; and upon body parts which we consider less dignified we bestow greater dignity; and the parts that aren’t attractive are the ones we make as attractive as we can, while our attractive parts have no need for such treatment. Indeed, God has put the body together in such a way that he gives greater dignity to the parts that lack it, so that there will be no disagreements within the body, but rather all the parts will be equally concerned for all the others. Thus, if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; and if one part is honored, all the parts share its happiness.
Now you together constitute the body of the Messiah, and individually you are parts of it.
Unified diversity . . . there is nothing more delightful!