They Might Not Need Me




They might not need me; yet they might.
I’ll let my heart be just in sight;
a smile so small as mine might be
precisely their necessity.

Emily Dickinson



I was given this poem on a small, green handout from a church lesson many years ago. Since then, it has dwelt on binder covers, on mirrors, and in journals. Needless to say, it is a favorite of mine.

I keep it so readily available because it reminds me to always be on the lookout for opportunities to serve others.

I think we can get caught up in the word “service.” We hear it and equate it with huge chores, giant undertakings, stress, and time-consumption. So we make excuses – they don’t need me, I am too busy, other people will pick up the slack for me.

But I don’t think service always has to be huge. It can be small – a hug, a smile, a note of encouragement, picking up a piece of trash. In fact, sometimes it is the small and simple things that make all the difference.

So we should always be on the look-out, be aware of those who might need our help.

Even during the times when I feel like I don’t have the capacity or ability to do very much, this poem reminds me that I can at least do a little something to serve – something that might be “precisely their necessity.”




They are starting to put ads on our blog. We do not approve these and are not getting any residuals whatsoever, so I apologize for the content. I’ll see what I can do about it.


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