One of the things I admire about my mother is that she gets involved in other people's lives.
Now that she doesn't have children at home, and is working less, on her way to retirement, she could use her extra time for herself. Instead, she uses much of it for others.
She helps out at the local primary school. She looks after an elderly lady in a local nursing home. She cares for her brothers and sisters. She visits the sick.
She's like those older women - the Bible calls them "widows" (which my mum is not, but I think it's a similar stage of life) - who use their time and energy to serve (1 Tim 5:9-10; Acts 9:36-42). I hope to be like her one day.
Here's a story that encouraged me to get involved too.
It's about a friend of my mum's who lives a long way from her family.
Mum had just received a message from her friend to say her sister had died.
My mother wasn't far away: she was driving near her friend's house. It would have been easy to send a text and go home.
But that's not what she did.
She went and sat with her friend that morning. She hugged her and listened and shared her sorrow.
Her friend said,
"You know, there were lots of people who sent their sympathy via emails and text messages. But you came. You visited.
"That meant more to me than all of those texts put together."
In these days of emails and texts and instant messaging, it's so easy to contact someone and think we've done what needs to be done.
But I hope, next time I'm in a situation like this, that I remember: a visit means more than a text.
If we can, we just need to be there.