last place

This in a private message exchange between my daughter and I*.  It’s been sitting in my “drafts” folder for over a year and as I re-read the exchange today, I am reminded of the great privilege we have of being Jesus’ to others. Servant-hood and sacrifice are our privilege as Christ-followers, not a necessary drudgery or a way to earn favor with an angry God. We *get* to serve and sacrifice and put others first so that Jesus is known!

MB: Got any good books/devos I should read?

Me: it depends on what you want to read

MB: umm dealing with
how to be a servant and exemplify christ?

Me: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
always encourages and challenges me but it’s written
in 19th century English slang so not everybody gets a lot
out of it. And I would say focus on loving Jesus and
the servant-hood stuff just comes as a result of the relationship.
Truly, just reading scripture really is the best. When I was
your age I read through the Psalms…slowly…chewing on them.
Just a thought.

I just i don’t know I felt really convicted by Mark 9:35
((He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said,
“Whoever wants to be first must take last place
and be the servant of everyone else.”))

and just thinking about my attitude toward
a lot of things and people, but I just don’t
really know what that looks like lived out, you know?

Me: It looks like the Haitian mom baking dirt pies
when that’s all she has to give…it looks like your dad
when he takes out the garbage or shovels the walk or works
on jobs he hates so we can have what we need…
it looks like Aunt Sara doing a chapel on Joy even
though she hates speaking in public…it looks like Uncle Scott
going to care for grandma every day for several years because
he knew it comforted her…it looks like Grandma knitting hats
for tiny babies she’ll never meet…it looks like smiling at the
grocery clerk or giving a compliment to the complete stranger
or listening to your friends troubles when you have your own hurts…
it looks like Pastor Ken faithfully serving in a dinky church with
no recognition and very little pay because he knows God wants him there…
it looks like Mike and Megan leaving their own country to use their gifts
far from family and familiarity…it looks like the woman married to the jerk
that she keeps loving  for Christ’s sake…it looks like a  (mom) not
giving up on her wayward daughter…it looks like the husband
who forgives his wife…it looks like Nate and Catherine adopting
and loving their 3 children…it looks like M releasing her first
child for adoption…

You have been and are now surrounded by genuine, authentic Christ-followers
living out their faiths. It looks different in everyone. No one knows
what someone else is asked to sacrifice to be a servant because
its different for each person. What is a sacrifice for you may be easy
for me and vice versa. I know you didn’t ask for such a long response,
but truly, being a servant–being last—has to do with listening
and loving Jesus more than anything else.

It looks like Listening and loving Jesus more than anything else.

*I left it as is–no edits–gramatical errors, abbreviations and all.

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