For a servant who's not serving
He's not whole without a soul to wait upon..." - from the song "Be Our Guest"
Last month, I went to the theater to watch the new live-action Beauty and the Beast. (Which, by the way, is an excellent movie.) I expected to be entertained; however, what I did not expect was that the Holy Spirit would use it to communicate an important truth to me. While listening and singing along (yes, I did attend the sing-along version of the film) to one of my favorite songs, "Be Our Guest," I was struck by the lines I quoted above and how they translate to our spiritual life. Remember Jesus's response when he was approached by the mother of two disciples requesting that they be seated on either side of him in his Kingdom? He answered by saying,
“... Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Hmmm...spoken first by Jesus, and then by Lumiere...you've gotta serve!
It's funny how just a simple line in a movie made me ponder so many things. Am I serving my husband as I should? And, ladies, don't get all bent out of shape about that! What I mean by serving is loving, being attentive to him, joyfully cooking and cleaning as I am at home while he works at three--sometimes four--jobs, and am I giving him grace when he fails or makes mistakes? Am I serving my children? Am I being patient with them when they struggle with a concept in homeschooling? Am I cheerfully reminding them to pick up their clothes, shoes, etc. when they've left them in the living room for probably the 1000th time? How am I doing in service to my special needs daughter? Am I being gracious to her when she's wet out of her diaper and all over the couch yet again? Am I choosing to see her as a blessing even when she's self-harming over and over again, and I'm super-stressed to the max? Am I serving my friends? Do I check in on them? Do I ask them how they're doing? And then am I prepared to hear and really listen to the truth? Do I help them when I know they're struggling? How am I loving and serving the people closest to me? My prayer is that I'm serving well in these areas.
I do know that loving service brings true joy, and one way I serve is by leading a special needs group. It's helped to heal me in so many ways. Prior to starting it, I felt alone, angry, and bitter. I kept my focus on myself. As Lumiere said, quite "unnerving" and most definitely not "whole." It wasn't until I allowed God to get into my pain with me and show me how to serve others in my situation that I could see a purpose and a plan for my daughter's struggles and my own. Sharing our hardships and celebrating our triumphs together is a beautiful thing. And, just as the castle is brought back to life so beautifully in the movie, the Lord will richly bestow blessings upon you when you love others as he commands. So let me encourage you with this: Serve. You'll be miserable if you don't and joyful when you do!