When was the last time you served someone when it cost you something? Possibly you were asked to compromise your schedule. Maybe your checkbook. Probably your pride.
Jesus was the epitome of servanthood. Picture Him washing the feet of His disciples, speaking to the Samaritan woman (half-breed that she was), or even dying on the cross for a crime He never committed. It was never about Him. It was always about the other person. You and I are no exception.
Our church operates a prayer email, and occasionally we are asked to send a card to lift someone's spirits. I must admit I haven't always followed through on those requests, but when I have, I've wondered if it was as uplifting to the recipient as it was to me.
This past week my husband Dave was on the "other end" where he has been touched by the servant spirit of some of our congregationalists, and my question was answered.
Immediately following Dave's knee replacement surgery last week, two of our Bible study couples brought meals, and then some dear friends came by with their homemade trail mix. Cards came from church members who saw Dave's name on our bulletin's prayer list. When I came home from school, I saw the "get well" cards lined up on his desk, displayed as a reminder of special people who took the time to care.
It made a difference.
But Dave isn't the only one who benefited from someone's kindness. Last week Craig Davenport, a former student who is now in college, called to ask if he could help with the microphone set-up for our November musical. We arranged for him to come this past Friday to work immediately after school with our principal actors. I was thrilled to have his expertise.
However ... when I pulled out our very expensive microphones (boxed since our spring play) from my wooden storage cabinet, a trillion termites came out as well. Needless to say, I flipped out, jumped up and down and tossed the containers on the floor.
Mounds of termites settled in my carpet. I immediately called Mr. Beckham, our principal, who promptly came to my room, opened the box and saw that termites were covering the microphone components. Knowing that my drama students had worked for four years to make the money to buy those systems and that the termite inspector had already treated my storage area, I burst into tears.
Mr. Beckham picked up the boxes and exited my room. When I finally composed myself, I went looking for him; he was in the grassy area outside, using a cloth to wipe down each of the microphone parts.
The box was destroyed, but he was confident the system would still work, since the termites (apparently) didn't penetrate any of the internal workings.
Mr. Beckham didn't have to help. After all, he is our principal, the one in charge. He could have called for a custodian or even told me to take care of my own mess, but he chose, instead, to do the dirty deed himself. It's the way he works. Servants do that.
Yesterday I went shopping for several "get well" cards to have on hand. I no longer will dismiss those emails asking for a pick-me-up note to be sent. Instead, after this week, I will remember the immeasurable blessings that come from being on that "other end," and I will delight in returning the favor.
Unless, of course, it involves termites.