Brother, sister, let me serve you, let me be, as Christ to you.
I think we can all relate to this line from the song sometimes sung in church gatherings. We get it. We get the desire to serve others. It feels good, it makes us feel like we're contributing, like we matter. And, it's deeply a part of the character of God, and the Spirit calls us to serve.
I got to go camping with Caelan, my 8 year old son, and Jon, a dear friend. It is so easy to think in terms of all the ways I serve my son. Care for him, protect him, play with him, take him on adventures, make memories together, and find our way in the world together.
When I serve others, I can sometimes feel in some way like I am the wonderful benefactor. I see you needed help, and I served you. Certainly, at times, I am the lowly servant - invisible, anonymous, while helping the other person to thrive and flourish. I'm worried that if all I think about is how I can serve others, that I will form in myself an identity as the one looking down, to help them. Pity, could become a dominante emotion.
Out of a good conversation with Jon, I realized something. Something of course I've known before, but it's always fun to find a gem again and pull it out of the drawer - oh there you are!
If my relationship with Jesus becomes so private, so alone by myself, I miss out on seeing Jesus Christ in others. I miss out on discerning the body of Christ. The Spirit at work in others can't be only so that they would mature, and I can watch and nod approvingly. The Spirit at work in others, through others - may be so that I would encounter Jesus Christ.
What if Christ in others serving me, is a gift I need to receive? Do I have the humility to be served?
As I watched Calean play in his imagination along the side of the lake, I looked forward to his serving me. Not just how he becomes moments of illustration - where I see in him something that teaches me. And not because he's got house chores to do! But where he cares for me, gives me a gift of service that reminds me of my dependance upon Jesus Christ. Where I can look into his face, as Jacob saw his brother - and say, I have seen your face and it is like seeing the face of God because you have been gracious to me.
Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.