Thursday, July 25, 2013

A True Servant

Our youth group walked into the children's center where we would be spending every morning of our week while in L.A.  We were greeted with children singing "nothing but the blood of Jesus".  I was thrilled to hear their voices singing such a powerful song.  But disappointment awaited as we found out they already had a leader for Bible time.  Instead, we would be tutoring their math and reading.  God was revealing to us the true nature of a servant.

The servant does not get to choose how he serves, but simply does whatever his master asks of him.  He does the task assigned to the best of his ability.

And so in this manner we served, but not without creativity.  We used the reading books to launch us into discussions about God.  Who knew that I would connect with Sherris while learning of cartilage in sharks and be able to talk about the power of God as our Creator. 

Rodrigo was delighted with the manner in which my husband taught math as well as Javier and Keely.  Connections were made in relationships.  At the end of the week they left on their field trip, and we were sad to see them leave.  We were left behind to clean the classrooms for them.  Again, serving in a way that was needed, not in what we would choose. 

I told you of "The Midnight Mission" in my last post.  While Jason was giving his testimony another volunteer group showed up and "stole" our spot serving food on the line.  Instead, we were put to work in the back kitchen, making hundreds of sack lunches . . .

                                                                                                   and dicing 80 pounds of onions.

Secretly we fussed a little, wanting the contact with the people.  But once we accepted the situation, we had a ball!  What fun to interact with the cooks and be part of the action behind the scene.  I was so proud of our students serving in ways they had not expected and taking it in stride. 

One afternoon we helped out at a Bible club.  This was my favorite.  The gospel was presented clearly as a believer scientist came in to talk about heat and light.  We helped with lighters, magnifying glasses, rubber bands, erasers, and playdough volcanoes.  All illustrating God as our source of light and love.

It was here that I was drawn to a woman who demonstrated service like it was truly meant to be.  I meandered to the back kitchen and she was cooking a snack for the children.  (It was more like a dinner)  I call her the orange lady since she scarcely spoke and I failed to get her name.  In spite of a warm kitchen, she was cooking hot food, delight written all over her face.  She was not paid, but simply served from the depths of her heart. 

One of the children had a birthday that day and when the orange lady walked into the room bearing cakes with candles, you would have thought it was her own birthday.  She was beaming from ear to ear.  I was not fast enough to capture it on camera, but it is a picture that will stand out in my mind forever. 

So often I serve reluctantly, grudgingly, or bitterly.  I fuss about how inconvenient it is for me or how I am doing more than my share.  But God pin pricked my conscience by her example.  When I want to serve in my own way, on my own time, and in my own comfort, I am not truly serving.   The orange lady gave me a model of the true nature of a servant.  Serving in this way displays genuine surrender to the one being served and to the task given. 

Praying I can better serve my own family as well as the family of God in this manner.


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