Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heart Surgery

What does it mean to have a heart of service? To me, it means lots of things. The most obvious to me is service to my church. My family is involved….we give…. always with a happy smile, and most of the time, with an equally happy heart.

Then there is service to friends….who needs a meal taken to them? Who needs my prayers? Who could use our baby’s hand-me-downs? Who needs free babysitting…or their lawn mowed? Who just needs a cup of coffee and a listening ear?

These seem to be the easiest, although they still require thought and effort.

The area of service closest to my heart…and yet definitely the most difficult for me…is the one to my husband and children. They have my entire heart….but they may not always have my most loving attitude. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed or obligated, instead of drawn to them in a heart of service.

Serving my kids means remaining loving and willingly submissive when I hear YET ONE MORE TIME, “Mommy, will you…?” Or “Mommy, please get me…” or just plain whiny “Mommy!...” It’s following through with the actions, yes, but also having a heart of love, not giving in to the exhausted, “poor me” Mommy feelings.

Service for my husband may look like… stopping my dinner-making routine to greet him as he walks in the door from work, just to give him a kiss…and a FOCUSED eye-contact “hello, how was your day?”, that hopefully speaks “you’re important to me…and I’ve missed you today.” Or handing him a cup of coffee in the morning, when I really just want to get my own cup and work on waking up.

There are endless ways to have a heart of service.

Service is not in my natural giftedness. I have to work at it, pray for it, strive to do it.

But the most interesting area of service in my life lately is in the area of work. Being a barista, and making cool coffee drinks, is really quite fun. I tremendously enjoy the people! They’re fascinating. But equal to making cool drinks in this job, is washing dishes, scrubbing floors and bathrooms. Wow. Talk about a heart check. Am I above this? Absolutely not. Do I struggle at moments, thinking I am? Sure.

I think about Christ…and how he washed his disciples dirty (and probably smelly!) feet….or when he touched the skin of the leper to heal him…or was seen in the company of society’s most despised…all in the name of service to and love for others.

My heart’s desire is to be more Christlike. It really is. And I have a long way to go. Perhaps washing dishes, scrubbing floors and commodes (that are not my own) is good for me. Perhaps I’m having a little daily heart surgery.

I do know I’m eager and excited to see what God is teaching me and preparing me for. Hopefully, I can truly show others a little bit of Christ in my life as I learn to serve better.

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