The Value of Bell Boys, Valets and Rhubarb

“Wow! A trip to the city and the school district is putting me up in a nice hotel! And I get to see my friend, Carla! It’s a conference I’m loving already!” teacher Ginny told her coworkers in the teachers’ lounge. She was thrilled.

Vacations had not been the norm during her busy days and years as an educator. Even during summer, she took graduate classes, which often left no time or money for a side trip. But when her rural school district sent her to conferences and paid for lodging in a nice hotel with amenities, it became a luxury event!

When Ginny rounded the corner of the high-rise downtown hotel in her muddy pick-up truck, she wondered where she would be parking. The lane disappeared into the guts of the hotel. But behind her the cars were piling up, luxury models sparkling with wax and clean windows.

I guess none of them live on a dirt road in the country.

A young uniformed man sprinted to her and held out his hand.

She shook it. Hmm. He has a firm handshake.

“Your keys,” he said, “I’ll park your car.”

“I can do that.”

“In this hotel, we do that for you.”

“I’m a good driver, even in tight places, but I guess you guys are, too. But how do I get my truck back?”

“Just come down here and we’ll bring it out for you.”

“Okay, but let me get my suitcase and things first.” With rainy weather on her trip to the city, she had to pack everything inside the cab. Ginny unloaded her gear from the passenger seat, suitcase, ice chest, clothing bag, briefcase, lunch box, and two grocery sacks of rhubarb, their fresh green crinkled leaves on red ribs peeking from the plastic.

She found that a bell boy was piling her bags onto a brass luggage cart. He looked puzzled as he studied the bags of rhubarb.

“Just put them wherever you do for other people,” she told him.

There was an embarrassed silence from the bell boy. “For my friend, Carla,” Ginny explained as she walked beside him to the mirrored elevators. He still held the bags. “She doesn’t have a garden here in the city like I do. Do you grow anything in your yard?”

“No, I buy food at the grocery store.”

“Just hang the bags on those hooks.” The bell boy strung them up where a clothing bag might hang.

“Then I imagine that you don’t have too many guests here who bring garden produce with them to the room.”

“First time ever!”

“Great! A new experience for both of us!”


New experiences. Changes. Surprises. They are part of life. But one thing that is steady, dependable and unites us all is the love from God for us.

In Jesus’ own words, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” [John 3:16-17]

And that gift shows how much love and value God puts in all of us—bell boys, valets, rich or poor, country or city folk alike.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from and her speaking engagements. [Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website,]


About the author : Jo Russell

Jo Russell

Award-winning author, speaker, blogger, Jo Russell keeps us laughing at every day challenges through her experiences as a single mom raising sons from diapers to adult. With humor, Jo reaches out to show others how to cope in all stages of life and stay sane. She posts a humorous weekly blog on

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