Monday, July 24, 2006

An Assignment - #3

How did you learn to do what you do in serving others, particularly in your area of ministry? (hands)

How do any of us learn to serve?

Is it something learned? It doesn't seem like it could be. I don't know why this is my first answer to this questions without thinking about it first. Hm.

My crazy friend Angie sent me this email on Friday with the subject "One word game". The object was to reply to the message and use one word to describe the person who sent it, then forward to your friends and be surprised at what you got back. Being the masochist I am, I sent to a few friends quote curious to see what they'd say. I was looking forward to being able to reply back to them, so I could say in an email something I'd never said to friend before. Today, I got a reply that I didn't expect to get at all.

MMMmmmm....servant.....yup, I think that would have to be my word for you.....the one that we all try for, but you just seem to embody.

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend.

Now that I did not expect.

You see, I am constantly feeling selfish that I don't do enough. And like most women, I never feel good enough, and what do many women do to overcompensate for these feelings? They do more.

All that aside, I think I learned the most about servanthood from two particular friends I had in college. And I honestly did not expect to think of them as I type. But they both come to mind.

One was a guy named after a hazelnut that grew up in a church that didn't believe in using instruments in worship yet he played the drums. He had this way of anticipating what you needed even before you did. He could read your body language, your eyes, the look on your face and he jumped right in to help. He listened. He loved. He made me laugh. He was so practical, so guarded sometimes, but more than anything he taught me how to be selfless. For that I am blessed.

The other is someone who was always there for me when I needed him. Although we've lost track of each other, there is a place in my heart for my strange little friend with the incredibly loud laugh who once told my mother he was taught to clean out the dryer lint after each load (o this day she thinks that's the weirdest thing she's ever heard). Somehow, he would find me each time I was on the verge of tears and even though I was angry and upset, he just sat with me. He held my hand to comfort me and loved me for who I was. He was the only friend I truly had a hard time saying goodbye to when I graduated from college. The night before graduation he came to my dorm room with a book wrapped in newspaper and we cried together because we knew it was the end. We knew our friendship was a season and I never once regretted the years we had together. Never in my life have I had another friend like him. Completely selfless, a kindred spirit, a big heart with no agenda, and an ability to bring joy to everyone who came into contact with him.

These two old friends are my earthly examples of what a servant should be. I love you both, Brad and Ryan. Wherever you are.

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