My daughter, Jamie, went on a serving trip to St. Louis last week with a small group of other kids and leaders that repainted and repaired two houses of families in need. I heard about different aspects of the trip from Jamie – what the families were like, making new friendships, allergies, experiencing God through serving, and the long drive home. What struck me most, though, was something one of the leaders said about her: “Jamie was there to serve. She constantly asked what more she could do, how she could help.” I learn so much from this 13-year old. I want to model this servant spirit in my life and so, here’s what I’m doing this week:
I’m entering into John 13:1-17. In this passage, we are told of Jesus washing his disciples feet. When he finished, he said: “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” I want to enter into this passage, picturing Jesus on his knees, his robe brushing the floor, one hand picking up a dirty, dust-covered, calloused foot, and the other hand rubbing off the grime with the water. What intimacy and humility these moments must have held as the creator of all things knelt and washed those he came to save.
I’m serving from bent knees. So often, I serve from a position of power. I have something that the person I am serving does not have. I give food to someone who has no food. I give legal advice to a person who is not a lawyer. These are not bad things to provide, of course, but how often do I serve from a position of humility? I’m noticing this week if there are ways of service I shy away from because they require too much intimacy or humility and then I’m praying for strength to serve in those ways.
I’m asking: “What is needed here?” I think I ask: “What am I good at?” much more than “What is needed here?” I think I look for serving opportunities in which I can be at my best instead of looking at the need and serving even when I am at my least. I must miss opportunities to serve this way. Jesus’ gifts were more aligned with teaching and healing. But he kneeled and washed other men’s feet because that was what was needed and he was not too proud to serve in the way that was needed.
What does your week look like?
Do you serve from bent knees?