I read it in His Word, red-lettered lines Spirit-etched on my soul. I hear it in praise music that streams through my van's speakers, pulsates from the CD player by kitchen sink, and comes out the mouths of my three babes. I even see it in the images posted on Katie's blog depicting a life in Uganda that makes mine seem all but worthless and trivial in comparison.
This life is about love, showing Christ's love, being a servant as He was a servant, acting in humble submission to one another in that love, willing our flesh to die as we wash another's feet.
Yet, it's not just the willingness to show His love that makes the difference; it's the willingness demonstrated in action--the getting on our knees, stretching forth our hands to bathe fevered brow, feeding the hungry, wiping away tears in comfort, bandaging blood-soaked knee, gently cupping wrinkled hand or clasping shoulder of one who simply needs human touch...love.
I'm not in Uganda. I'm here in the United States. It is here that I live as a stay at home mother to serve my family in His name. While my money, my prayers may circle the globe, it doesn't seem like much when I read, listen, see the greatness of others' servanthood.
Then, I get sick (again), laid low by a summer cold that won't let me go, one that my children catch and release in haste, like late-afternoon Popsicle on the back porch. These times are some of the hardest, my inability to be a servant even to husband and children. What's worse is the waiting on husband to wait on me, stepping out of comfortable servant's robes into ones fit for a queen.
I've never been a good queen, the one who has to wait for something to happen when she could just easily fling off the covers, march downstairs and go do it herself. It's hard letting husband be a servant to me, especially when I watch a 15 minute task turn into 45 just because he's in the household driver's seat where I have the experience to be most efficient.
But his being a servant is just as important as my being a servant. To take charge, refuse to allow husband to fulfill His Godly role is sinful. And so, I bite my tongue, try to ignore the ticking clock, and whisper thanks for husband who is a floor beneath me, caring for louder-than-mommy-lets-them-be-indoors children while I am surrounded by pillows and the cooling darkness to help me recover.
Earlier in the week, a good friend of ours laughingly balked at my statement that I had a "well-trained husband." I countered that I consider myself to be a well-trained wife as well, and I really do.
The training, though? It didn't come from each other. It came from The Servant of all servants, Himself, Our Savior. When we tried to train each other in our early marriage, we failed. Yet, in submitting to Christ, husband and I have learned what it means to be a servant. It's an education unto death, one we'll never master, and one where being a servant is many times easier than being served.
This may not be the magnitude of servanthood that makes people shake their heads in amazement, read a book about me, and say, "Wow, I wish I could love Christ by doing that!" Then again, in this present moment, this is where I am called to be--a servant of Christ in raising three children to love Him, in keeping my covenant relationship with my husband, and in not impeding my husband's service of God when He bows the knee to Christ in loving me.
Photo: Husband cooking chicken and mac-n-cheese, comfort food for a worn and weary wife.