HomeOur StoriesDevotionsThe Christian as Servant

Oscar Romero, serving the people of El Salvador before his martyrdom

Matthew 20:26  "Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.

“Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.”

- Rachel Naomi Remen from, 
A Time for Listening and Caring

Often when people are called to go on work trips, they are often looking for a way to help those who are suffering from the effects of poverty, natural disasters, war, or other calamities.  Many consider their best trips as those where they are able to build or repair homes, health care clinics, or schools.  It is extremely satisfying to be able to see the results of what has been done, and to be able to tell others about the need and the ability to relieve that need.

It sometimes is difficult, when recruiting people for such trips, to help them understand that those who are suffering are the very ones who will tell us what needs to be done, how it might be accomplished, and what matters most to them.  The tasks that are anticipated before departure frequently never happen, and they never take place in exactly the way they are planned.

Once worker's feet are "on the ground" in the target area, however, the perspective changes rapidly.  It quickly becomes apparent that things will need to proceed as they need to proceed, given the situation.  Local contacts make it clear that the most important that the workers bring is their presence in a place of deepest need.  At this time, it's important to make a major shift from task orientation to serving real people who know their own situation best..

Rachel Naomi Remen says it well - we need to see life as a whole, not broken or weak.  As we enter into the life of others and experience their situation, whether at home or far away, we are called to humble ourselves and serve them.  Without a servant's heart, we will never experience the fullness of life that God has given us.

Prayer:  Holy God, help us understand the teaching of your Son, Jesus Christ.  Our prayer today is that you will give us a servant's heart, so that we may enter  fully into the life you have offered to us.  


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