Dose of Truth

Serving others

Tim Richards

All of us have read an inspirational story which made us smile, however, occasionally, a friend plays a significant role in one of those stories and it touches us in a special way. The previous church I pastored, The Refuge, was blessed to have Bob and Debbie Row serve as our worship leaders for many years. They are both extremely gifted musicians.

A few days ago on April 12, 2023, Bob posted a personal story on Facebook, which as soon as I read it, I knew I had to share. He detailed his visit with an elderly friend at a nursing home where he once worked. He shared a picture of a special piano and wrote, “Today I returned to play this piano after 20 years! This old ‘friend’ and I played the most important single song of my life. A resident at this community was actively dying among an apathetic family, who said terribly hurtful things in front of her, in her catatonic state.”

Bob knew her well and believed she deserved an extra measure of love in her final hours. He rolled the facility’s piano into her room and played what he knew to be her favorite song, “Over the Rainbow.”

He recalls, “She opened her eyes, lifted her head and smiled so big and full of love. Then she lay her head back down and died. Sometimes I think that God gave me music just for that one act of service. Now all the rest is simply for fun.”

Bob used his amazing musical talent to bless a woman who needed encouragement as she died. I cannot play the piano like Bob. Very few reading my words today have the musical gift my friend has been given. All of us, however, can use our God-given talents to serve him and those who are hurting.

Although the Apostle Paul was specifically writing about taking communion in a way that honors God, he tied that idea to an even larger concept when he wrote these words, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT)

If we are taking the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper we are to do it to honor God. However, the next phrase, “or whatever you do…” expands the idea of honoring God to everything else. Bob did this when he played his friend’s favorite song during her final moments. Most of the things we do for the glory of God are less memorable, but not necessarily less significant. When we show others compassion out of a desire to please God those we help are consistently blessed and God is honored.

As a pastor and columnist for nearly 15 newspapers, Tim Richards has lifted the spirits and challenged the hearts of those who have strong faith as well as those whose faith is weak. In his third book, “Sailing Through the Storm,” readers will again discover new ways to live with godly perspective in a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at