A Life of Service Pt 1: It isn’t beneath us, even though we often treat it that way.
I sense a change in the air – have you noticed that when there is a movement within the Body of Messiah that a lot of people start getting the same message? I mentioned a series of dreams I was having yesterday and I was shocked at how many of my friends have been hearing the exact same thing – well, not shocked, but just blown away. The Body is being directed back to the factory specifications, and in this case the servanthood of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) who washed the feet of His disciples (considered to be the filthiest part of the body in the ancient Near Eastern world).
I am not going to detail the entire dream – needless to say, you can just trust me as I tell you that myself and a whole lot of other servants were doing a wretched job of serving. It was an “Upstairs/Downstairs” situation, or in modern lingo a “Downton Abbey” situation. I was one of the servants, but it seemed like everyone was just winging it or standing around doing nothing at all. I was trying, but my lack of desire and competence in being a servant was really making a mess out of the situation – no one in the house truly knew how to serve and had the right attitude about it, EXCEPT –
Except for the guy emptying the chamber pots (pictured below). And it was full, full of a ton of….. well you know, up to the top. And yet there was no hint of disgust on his face, and there was so much seriousness and dignity in his demeanor that when I woke up I wanted to cry. That man carrying the chamber pot was the most dignified person I had ever come across in my life. He took pride and had satisfaction in his work, he did not consider it beneath him or a burden – it was simply his job. It was the job given to him by the Master of the House and so he carried it out with quiet dignity and seriousness. He didn’t announce that he was doing his job, he just did it.
That man humbled me. While I was simply trying to find my way around the house and trying to figure out what to do and desiring the delicacies on the upstairs table, he was doing his job. We were all so frustrated that there was no one there to train us, that we were ill- equipped, but there was a man who continually dealt with people’s…. crap, and he was showing us exactly what to do. Quiet. Dignified. Without Ego. No disgust. Not considering the job beneath him. Taking pride in our part of keeping the Master’s house functioning. Finding out what our job was and just doing that and not anyone else’s job.
Take my job, for instance. I have known for years that I am, for all intents and purposes in the language of an Edwardian home, a nanny. The Nanny raises and loves children that aren’t hers – she has to give them what they need when they need it, teach them at the level they are ready for and yet consider her charges to be her superiors. She must teach them character and explain the basics to them. Give them the basic context of life so that they are prepared for adolescence. Teach them their letters and numbers and the basics of reading and writing. The job of the nanny is to diminish – to be very important at first and then give way to to the specialists, never forgetting that the children do not belong to her. The job of a nanny is not to replace the parents but to teach the children how they are to relate to their parents and to society as a whole. The job of the nanny is to pour their love and wisdom into each and every new person and then watch them walk farther and farther away, as it should be. The nanny has to have good fruit, possibly more than anyone in the home because the next generation rests in her hands.
And yet, my fruit is not yet at nanny level. And sometimes I want to be a high school or university instructor like my friends and mentors. I have to pull myself back occasionally, because that’s their job and they are great at it. I support them by teaching what they teach, but at the abc and 123 level, not by replacing them. I need to be the nanny, always there and yet less and less needed as time goes on – but in a great house there are always more children on the way. The house we serve in, is a very great house indeed. There are many more children to be born into this great House, and I need to learn how to serve them far better than I do.
Because frankly, babies have diapers – and like the man in my dream, I have to be a lot more like him and be willing to deal with what’s in them without disgust and without thinking it is beneath me.
I’m not there yet. I’m not even close. Looks like that needs to change.