My sweet, crazy friend in Germany sent me a Skype video message and asked if I’m too happy to blog these days. “I’ve checked your blog the last weeks, and I don’t see you writing anything and I wonder, ‘Ok, is she very sad, or is she just busy, or is she too happy to blog anything?’ So I hope you’re too happy!”
I’m all of the above, and mostly too focused on using words in other ways than on a blog. And more than anything, this is a season of rest and silence and transition, where the words that are part of my life are too intense and/or too foggy to put out there for public consumption.
Still, there are some words that should maybe see the virtual light of day.
It was in a class called Developing As a Servant. One assignment was to give a 2-minute presentation to the class about a servant who impacted us. I knew the stereotypical Sunday school answer: (given in a high little voice, nodding) “my mommy and daddy” but that was the prevailing impression that stayed in my mind as I tried to decide what I would tell the class.
I said my parents have given their lives to serving people and being in ministry in some way, instead of pursuing the American dream, and I’m so grateful for that example. Then I gave this vignette:
I was with my dad in town some years back. It was a couple days before Christmas and the atmosphere was pretty crazy. We were picking up an order that we needed for our business, and the lady at the service desk couldn’t find it, and wasn’t being very helpful. The details are hazy to me now, but I remember that we weren’t getting the service we should have and we needed the order NOW, not in a few days.
I worked in a store for many years and I know how to serve customers, so I’m very sensitive to the customer service I receive. I notice and am very appreciative of good service, but when it’s not so good, I quickly decide not to patronize the place again. At that counter with my dad, I was at the side, watching the scene play out. My instinct would have been to be snappy and demanding. (That was back then, I’d never do that now. sigh. Actually, now I’d probably go into a whiny mode and act pitiful.)
But my dad stayed calm and polite and even cheerful. He calmly asked when the order will be in and didn’t demand what was his right as a customer. I got the distinct impression that he was serving her and being helpful to her when she was the one who should’ve been doing that to him.
That’s my model, which seems like a mouthful to say, as selfish and myopic as I am. But it’s my aspiration–to give grace and understanding to my world. Indiscriminately. Generously. Cheerfully. Quietly.
I often cry when I think about how incredibly wonderful it would be to walk beside Jesus, laugh with Him, and listen to how He talked with people. In a tiny way, I can do that now when I’m in step with the Spirit who is tenting in me and guides me. To serve my thirsty world, care, anticipate need, give gentleness–this is living like my dad and Jesus.
One customer service agent, one fellow traveler, one sister, one neighbor at a time. Jesus and I, we can change the world.