Monday, November 3, 2008

Making Aprons and Servanthood

What is it about servanthood? It seems like such a good idea at the time. You're sitting there in church, or reading your Bible or a good book, and you think, I'd like to do that. I'd like to be the person that does that. It's so noble, so good. It would make you pleased with yourself. Others would love you. . .

and then it comes to actually doing it.

Inevitably, I am called to serve those who neither appreciate it nor even remotely inclined to say thank you. It is the truest form of sacrifice; doing it simply for the sake of having been called to do it.

I'm an honest person. Honest to the point of ruthlessness -- the truth relentlessly drives my thinking. It is inescapable. It points at my every fault, and urges me to uncontrollably point out everyone else's faults as well.

So it is no surprise to find that being a servant frequently compels and irritates me at the same time. I look at my own motives and faults as I serve, which negate the service. And this drives me completely crazy.

Fortunately, there was a monk in the 17th century who felt the same way. His name was Brother Lawrence. He was a dishwasher and cook for a monastery. He worked very hard at serving authentically. He spent a lot of time on his knees, and on his face, before the Lord.

I think of Brother Lawrence as I clean up the kitchen for the 100th time, knowing it is a chore relegated to my children. They are busy people with school and sports and friends -- me, not so much. But it really isn't the chore that's important, it's that they contribute to the household. They will soon find this to be of importance when they move out and have roomates.

I may even laugh when that time comes!

But for now, I try to just serve, and not bristle under the irritation that it's not my job -- it's theirs. I try and remember that it is my pleasure to serve, that I serve a mighty God who has saved me from death.

And there's the real key, isn't it? Keeping our eyes on the One we serve, not the ones who make it possible with leaving us all the stuff to do.

On a completely different subject -- I'm making aprons again. Saturday's play rehearsal enabled me to work on a large table and get 3 cut out and ready to sew, while Babydoll and the others were rehearsing scenes I am not in. I should have some harvest and Christmas-coloured aprons in the Etsy shop soon, in case you're needing a quick hostess gift.

Or just in case you want to look great serving in your kitchen . . .



Debbie said...

I love this post. It does seem easy to do, in theory, and not so easy in practice.

Angela Fehr said...

I deal with this too! Seems like servanthood is just not so very glamourous - you'd think we'd have figured that out by now!