Originally posted Nov. 29, 2012 at The Heart of a Pastor. Republished with permission of the author.
My wife had knee surgery on Tuesday. Nothing serious — actually it was a procedure that took about 25 minutes. She was able to walk out of the hospital, but for 48 hours she had to stay off her knee as much as possible and ice it every hour. It has been driving her crazy to be so limited. Today she can start walking more and do more of her knee exercises but still has to take it easy until Monday.
So for these past 48 hours I have been at my wife’s beck and call. She has not been able to get what she needs as easily. Going downstairs to retrieve ice packs in the deep freeze would not have been a good idea for her to do. Thank God I live next door to the church so I can run back and forth as needed.
But through this process I have been learning and re-learning a few things that I wanted to share with you. A few things about serving others in need:
There are people in our lives who can’t get what they need without our help. Maybe they could find someone else to assist them (or maybe not), but why put them through that?
With someone I love, I haven’t thought twice about caring for my wife in her time of need. If we truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ, why is it that we sometimes whine about or avoid serving them?
Some people find it difficult to ask for help. When my wife looks at me and asks me to get something, I can see in her face that she is uncomfortable asking. So I have been trying do things for her before she asks.
Serving and being served is humbling. I think this speaks for itself.
Serving draws you closer to the one being served. I definitely feel the pain, discomfort and frustration that my wife is feeling. I imagine myself in her situation and I don’t like it. What if we imagined ourselves in the place of the homeless person down the street?
Is this what Jesus meant when he commanded us to “wash one another’s feet”? Actually — I literally did this today after we took the bandage off her knee. She said “I know this grosses you out but can you wash my heel?” It didn’t gross me out. But there have been times where I have felt uncomfortable or avoided “washing someone’s feet.”
The more you serve and help someone the better you understand their situation. I’m not saying that we are commanded to become the butlers of this world but we are commanded to “wash feet.” We are to show Christ’s love through our words and actions. We are to humble ourselves for the glory of God. Serving others may go unnoticed to most in the world, but it won’t go unnoticed to the one being served (or to God).
What would it look like to be at someone’s beck and call without them “becking” (I don’t think that is a word) or “calling”?
Much to think about — but first — it’s time to check on my wife.
Find a link to Eric Hullstrom’s entry on the blog The Heart of a Pastor at Lutheran Blogs.