She inspires me.
We shared a Coke zero in her unconditioned car. It tasted crisp and cold, making it hard to just sip. But I did, to be polite. She had taken a day off work to drive me around-- for free. So all afternoon we skirted around town, stopping at the post office, the bank, the grocery store. She never complained.
She did cheerfully what I did not. I didn't want to run other people's errands that day. But as the day progressed, I found myself convicted by her happy selflessness.
Honestly, I don't even remember her name. But I remember her.
She smiled the entire time, driving wherever I asked her to. Brown eyes warmer than the Florida sun. She was there to serve.
There are moments where even I, with my blind tendencies, can't ignore His face. It's the face of the servant. The joyful and willing servant.
And He was in her face that day. In her big smile and bouncy curls. He was there in that hot and muggy college car from Philly. Unmistakably Him. So I soaked it in.
We're scared to serve because it's uncomfortable to lower ourselves. Serving, in its rawest form makes us truly humble. When we serve others, when we give of ourselves we make a statement of worth-- you are worth my service. Service says "You are worth my time, my gifts, my talents, the putting aside of my dreams and personal goals in this moment. I'm here wholly and fully for your needs."
When we serve others, when we give of ourselves we make a statement of worth-- you are worth my service.
Yet, I find I'm rarely more insecure about my own self-worth than when I'm serving others. I struggle to serve cheerfully, I fear not calling the shots or being the one in charge. Sometimes the humility it requires to serve people on my team overwhelms me. And during those times I find myself vulnerable to lies about my abilities, my gifts and my strengths.
But I can't help but wonder if those same fears and insecurities assailed his mind when he picked up one dusty, sweaty and dirt-stained foot after another. If he too, felt tempted by a rise of indignation in his heart?
Secure in the Father, secure in his identity he continued to lift each of his friend's feet and wash them. Gently scrubbing on his hands and knees.
I look at her and I see him. Brave enough to serve, brave enough to put someone else's needs before her own. And in the end, when all is said and done, it's the meek who inherit the earth.
The meek, the servant, the last and the least. Those who let themselves fall down the staircase, who let go of their death-grip and claim to worldly success, and follow the example of their Servant King who inherit the earth.
She drops me off at the end of the day and I shut the door and close my eyes, grateful to have had this compelling encounter with a girl from Philly who was brave enough to serve.