Wednesday, March 16, 2016

40 Days of Grateulness - Day 54

"Give Thanks."

I came upon this little sign at a dear friend's house. Her husband had been ill for some time and I wanted to spend time with her and her family. My intention --  as she likes to say "was to stare into her eyes" -- meaning I was simply there to enjoy her company. My hope, desire or whatever one may call it -- was to simply be with her as I had no real agenda. And if by some divine circumstance or appointment, I could encourage her, love on her or as my women's bible study prayed during our closing prayer ... to "minister" to her - then so be it.

For some reason that use of the word, minster stuck with me. So, I looked it up. The word, minister, the verb not the noun, originates from the Old French, word, menistrer which means to administer, be of service or to serve. Well, isn't that interesting.

If my memory serves me correctly, when I first started this blog one of my early posts (Day 4) spoke of me promising to serve more. And as ... but I don't believe in luck or coincidence ... life would have it, one of my very first comments on this here blog was "How have you started serving more?"

At the time, I thought the author was simply trying to bust my chops but with a little perspective, I believe that comment was meant to hold me accountable. Well it's been over 3 years since that post and I'm proud to say I've at least kept my word. Currently, I'm involved with a number of ministries and I actively participate in both corporate and women's bible study. Aside: hmm, perhaps there's something to writing down one's goals. Looking for a 5'3" brown cowboy. Ritz Carlton rooms for Residence Inn prices. Peace. Joy. I digress, but it doesn't hurt to try :-)

And with all the ways, I'd like to think I know about serving, it's clearly evident after this week-end, I'm still learning about what serving really looks like - just by visiting my friend.

For not only did I witness my friend serve her family by maintaining a home filled with Holy Ghost Goodness aka 'good energy' and an air of normalcy even during this trying time, I watched her friends serve her. Her friends, who stopped by, helped her shuffle the kids to their respective play dates so my friend and I could catch up. They helped her wash dishes, put them away and load the dishwasher. They made light conversation about everything and nothing; discussing sales, the latest in eyewear, politics and husbands that know exactly what to do -- one friend had told her husband that she thought it was too late to just stop by but he simply kept driving - she remarked how she was glad he didn't listen. They spoke of future dates for a girl's night out and they even served me. But wasn't I supposed to be doing the serving?

Her friends thanked me for coming to check on our mutual friend. They remarked how it was so very thoughtful that I would take time to come by and visit. And yet another made a special trip to stop by and say hello to 'lil 'ole me. Oh, it gets even better. Not only did her friend stop by to say hello, and exchange oh, so pleasant conversation, she took the time to make me this incredible salad.

'Incredible Salad'
Not only did this fabulous joker (she is quite stylish) make me a salad, she took the time to whisk up some lemon-garlic-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink vinaigrette to adorn it. And just before presenting me with this fresh, hand-chopped, beautifully-assembled, delicious but healthy treat, she took a spoonful of the salad dressing and put it up to my lips to see if the salad dressing was to my liking. It blew me away for it felt like she had just washed my feet -- like Jesus did the disciples. And with that simple expression, I was done.

You see, my visit to my friend wasn't for me to minister to her - it was for me to witness what ministering or serving really looks like. For it is my friends' pleasure, her privilege to serve her family.  It was her friends' pleasure and privilege to not just serve our mutual friend; they wanted to serve me too. And I'm convinced there is no better way to demonstrate love than to serve. Serving behind the scenes with no fanfare, no requests, no petitions, no shout-outs in the bulletin on Sunday morning, no coming up to the front for presentations, no recognition ... is what serving is all about. That thing right there could make me shout.

Her friends didn't serve for any other purpose other than to express their care, their concern, their love, their gratitude, their humility and their heart's desire to simply serve their friend.

So, on this Day 54 of 40 Days of Gratefulness, I'm grateful for witnessing what serving really looks like and I am going to serve better. #40daysofgratefulness #beblessed