Monday, June 06, 2005

The Strength to be Served

They played a song at Mass this weekend called The Servant Song. The verse goes Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the strength to let you be my servant too.

As Christians we are often reminded that we are here to serve. Even Christ washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper in the Gospel of John as a visual, visceral reminder that the first among us should be willing to serve. But think about that story of the Washing of the feet from the perspective of the apostles for a moment. This was their Lord and Master. By this time they knew without a doubt that this Man was the Son of God, and yet He was washing their feet. It takes great humility and great strength to allow yourself to be served.

I remember the first time I experienced this as an adult. I was a wife, and mother of four beautiful children and I contracted a virulent case of the flu. I could hardly lift a finger for myself. My oldest child was in first grade, and the baby was barely one year old. Mrangelmeg had to go on travel for his job.

On Sunday afternoon, my mother and mother-in-law got together in my kitchen to form a battle plan to decide how to help me through this week. It was decided that Since my mother was retired, she would take the three younger girls to her house to stay so she could take care of them. My mother-in-law, who lived in town, but worked at the university food service would come by every evening and check on my son and I and make sure that we had dinner and that my son was bathed and put to bed.

I remember protesting that I could handle it all, but honestly I was so happy that they were there to help me. On Monday morning I mustered up the strength to get my son dressed fed and onto the bus, and then collapsed onto the couch. Before I knew it my son walked back through the door. I hadn't moved an inch in the seven hours he had been at school. I can't imagine what I would have done with three little ones to have had to take care of in those hours. I remember crying and thanking God that someone had had the common sense to make me let them do this for me.

Now I am older and much wiser I hope. Yet, even now I have to be reminded to allow others to serve me. Sometimes the greatest gift we can give to someone is to allow them to serve us. Sometimes it is our Christian duty to allow ourselves to be there recipient of service, no matter how small the service is.

Every time I hear that simple song in Church it reminds me that as Christians we are never alone, there is always someone around to help us "walk this path and bear this load" (from the last verse of the song)


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