Many many moons ago, I learned a whole lot about love when I was following around my momma.
She was always ready to serve.
There was no real limit to her serving. She served kids, she served adults, she was church hostess and served meals. She would play piano for any group that needed her. Have a need in the special needs department? No problem, she was there. Counseling and mentoring? She was ON it. Meals delivered? That too.
There was nowhere she wouldn’t go. And looking back, I sure did learn a lot from her experiences. And I think that’s how serving works.
When done with the right heart, serving affects WAY beyond the person on the receiving end.
One summer, we were at a retreat for the leaders and teachers in the children’s department. I just happened to be quietly sitting in a meeting when my very fiery little momma got into a bit of an argument with another teacher. I didn’t like what was said and when we got back to our room, my ten-year-old little self immediately told my mom ALL about my opinions.
I got my fieriness honestly, and I gave my momma an earful. Because I was gonna defend my sweet little momma. That’s for sure! I told her all about how I didn’t like that person anymore for being mean to my momma.
Thinking she would agree, I was astonished when she said, “Well I like her just fine. Actually, I love her dearly.” She explained part of serving involved transparency. After long hours of working with kids, when you are hot and tired, sometimes you say things you don’t mean. Or maybe you do, but your filter gets a little weak.
You are raw. You are vulnerable. You are human. And serving requires a big ole dose of humility … A trait very few have by nature. And loving each other involves forgiveness and grace, even when we open our big mouths.
Following in her footsteps, I’ve learned these very lessons. God calls us to use our gifts. And much like Moses and Jeremiah and Paul and others, often those gifts don’t come very easily. And perhaps some of us run from the uncomfortableness involved in serving others.
Humility mixed with stepping up to the plate.
Forgiveness mixed with transparency. Navigating the hard while standing firm with open arms. It’s a big mixed bag of chips. There usually isn’t a prize at the end of the race. Usually, not even a pat on the back.
Looking back, I now see why it was so easy for my mom to forgive and forget those harsh words. And I even find that I am usually the one with the big mouth. And, oh how often, I’ve thought back to that one moment watching God’s servants “figure it out.”
Sometimes people aren’t as quick to offer grace when I get diarrhea of the mouth and say too much. But the ones that do, quickly become a close friend. Probably because they’ve learned that they might need a little grace too. And that’s what serving is all about.
My mom taught me many lessons about what it means to be a servant. Mostly she taught me to love.Click To Tweet
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10
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