Monday, August 4, 2014

Fair or Servant

I spent a lot of time in my life trying to help others learn to be fair - to share - to be kind - because I thought I was teaching them to be like Jesus.
But, was I? Jesus was the ultimate servant.
Did I spend time teaching them to serve? To think of others' needs before their needs?
And, do I think of others' needs before thinking of mine?

As a server at the Olive Garden years ago, I remember the humility involved in serving at a restaurant, it is extremely humbling. But, how about serving in every day life? And, how do we teach it?

Waiting for others to go ahead of us in traffic - or in a line at a store - or opening a door for someone into a restaurant that has a list waiting to be seated? Can we allow others to be served before us - allowing them to have the last (of anything) and not getting emotional that there is none for us?

Losing sleep - when children are first born - is normal and I gladly serve newborns. But, as children grow, did I "try to make life fair" thus teaching them it is all about their satisfaction?
I remember focusing on being fair - like cutting a pizza in equal slices - so each of my children had the exact amount.
I think "being fair" is an important lesson, but could I have taught them a more important lesson - to "serve" - to let others have more pizza then they had at a meal?

If we teach children, and ourselves, how to serve - to let others have something instead of us having it, will we be learning, as the Bible calls it, to "Die to self"? Because if so, then we will win!

Christ promises - the least shall be the greatest - and it seems confusing - but I think that when we serve - He makes us great.

God bless you today!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Familiar Face

Her face was familiar. I did not think we had met before, but I remembered seeing her face. We were both in a line - well, there were two clerks waiting on people and we each chose a line - but neither of us knew if there was one line or two - so we kind of stood next to each other - forming a horizontal line - waiting for someone in the hotel to wait on us.

As the man approached her, I wondered if she knew him. Surely she did not. The conversation was pleasant - she was very kind - and he seemed to discuss something she understood. Her feet moved slightly - I noticed she had chosen cute shoes - too high for me to wear - but they worked for her. The conversation ended, he left but our line had not moved - and our eyes met - we began talking about why we were in line - keys that don't work, checking out, all pleasant.

Then, another woman approached her - thanking her for her words. She graciously accepted the thanks.
So, my curiosity peaked, I asked her - "Did you speak in this hotel?"
"Yes - just this morning - at a NAMI Conference."
"I am sorry - NAMI?" I asked.
"National Association for the Mentally Ill", she answered.
"I have had experience with mental illness in my family."
"I think most people have," I answered with a smile.
"That is what I was speaking about!" she exclaimed.
We smiled.

National Association for the Mentally Ill - I may need to look into that.
We chatted a few minutes longer and, finally, one line moved. I motioned for her to go first - she was there before I approached the area - and she graciously accepted.
Finally, the other line moved - I was taken care of and - just before leaving, I caught her attention, waved and smiled. She smiled and waved back and it felt good to say a prayer for her and her family.

The Lord knows that, in His sovereign plan, I have had some experience with mental illness - so I understand a little - and am curious about this organization.

And, still curious about her face - I looked up the conference in the hotel and the speaker that morning. Yes - I had seen her before - she has a famous name - but her face is unforgettable. Mariel Hemingway.
God bless her and her family and those involved in NAMI.
For Jesus' Glory, Mary