The setting was perfect. It was a lovely cool summer evening. The yard was beautifully landscaped, and all of the details had fallen into place. At the end of the wedding ceremony, the bride sat in a chair, lifted up the edge of that beautiful gown, and her groom began to wash her feet. It felt incredibly intimate and in a way I felt I had no right to witness it. This couple understood that God doesn’t just want us to act like a servant from time to time. God wants us to BE a servant all the time both in our deeds and in our hearts.
I understand that I should serve God with my actions. As I realize all He has done for me, I should want to do everything for Him. I understand that I should be willing to do a lowly job because Jesus considered no job too lowly. In John 13, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. He didn’t wash the lovely manicured feet of a beautiful bride, he washed what were probably some “nasty” feet of people who rarely washed and who had potentially walked in all kinds of animal dung. This was a lowly disgusting job, but Jesus didn’t consider these smelly, dirty feet. He simply thought of how his disciples represented the beautiful feet of his bride-the Church. Jesus set the example of what it means to serve God and serve others.
There is the action part of serving but I also realized that like with everything else, God doesn’t just want my actions, He wants my heart. A servant’s heart is humble, meek, lowly, and never haughty. Unfortunately, my heart is sometimes the opposite of humble; sometimes words like arrogant and proud are words that better describe my heart. As I thought about Jesus’ words in John 13:14, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” I wondered how a humble servant’s heart would look in my everyday life. God cares about the attitude with which we serve others but I think there is also another level to the heart of a servant.
A servant’s heart is not entitled. A servant’s heart isn’t demanding or picky. A servant’s heart doesn’t have huge expectations that another cannot meet nor always have her own self-interest in mind. I imagine that a servant would be pleased with the efforts of someone else toward her. A servant would appreciate the kindness shown to her and would not expect more; a servant would appreciate what was given to her without judgment. I caught myself having to think about this during a small interaction with my husband. (Why do they get the worst of us?) He had gone to the grocery store for me but forgot a few items. I felt myself annoyed by it and said so. Then I realized that a servant’s heart would appreciate his effort. A servant would be pleased at the kindness and cooperation he had shown. A servant wouldn’t be mad that he had forgotten my apples, only a prideful haughty spirit would be so annoyed at him. (How ironic that this sinful attitude was brought about by an apple!)
In Mark 10, James and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, ask if they can sit on either side of him in “glory.” They were looking for a seat of position and power. They were not looking to be the humble servant that Jesus requires. Jesus responds to them “…Whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus set the example for us. He was both a servant in action but also in his heart. He was a servant…unto death. He paid the ransom-the price- so that we can be in relationship with the Father. Jesus was obedient and humble to the end. That is the barometer on which I should base my life.
Get to know the blogger…
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher. I played school all the time with my friends. I had elaborate lesson plans and attendance charts made up for my “students.” As it turns out, teaching my children to read, teaching at women’s ministry and teaching the Bible in Africa have been some of my greatest joys.
What inspires you?
People who have walked through difficult things and come out on the other side knowing and trusting God more fully.
Where did you grow up?
Bowie, Maryland- a bedroom community to Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD. It was a huge community with an unbelievable amount of kids. My high school graduating class had over 1,000 students. They were the best of times… and my “testimony building” years all at once. I am still besties with girlfriends from junior high and I married a guy from two streets over.