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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Festival: Servant or Friend

Today's post is is from Young Seeker at Seeking the Moments:  

It is the story of my life that I am either two steps ahead of the group or two and a half behind.  The literal side of me wants to blame it on my Dad because from the age of 3, I would strive to match my stride to his.  His inseam was a gigantic 36 inches long... and I was barely 4'5" tall.  But, that story doesn't ever work because now that I'm "all growed up"... my inseam is a whopping 36 inches and let I find myself falling behind.

The humorous side of me says that it happens that way so that there can be a great roar of laughter when I finally catch the punch line of a joke.

Whatever the case may be, I believe it might work to my benefit when it comes to spirituality because 9/10... someone has "been there and done that" before and often has wisdom they are dying to pass on.

This past Sunday, I found myself as the sole musician in worship.  And normally, while music and singing is something that I am willing to do at the slight of a whisper, this week... I struggled. I knew the songs. I knew the tempo. I knew that the group would try to slow down the Sanctus.  I knew what to expect, or did I?

Growing up, we were encouraged from a very young age to "get involved" in the church.  As soon as I was old enough to be an altar server, I literally served every Sunday at 9am from that Sunday until I "retired" in my late (late!) teens.  From there, I moved onto other ministries within the church and never thought anything of it.  As the sermon reflected around the notion of no longer being God's servant, but God's friend, I struggled. 

When Sr. Mary wrote Servant Song, I think she understood that we were meant to servants; Mother Teresa was quoted saying, "God has no hands on earth, but our hands; no feet, but our feet..."

"What do you want of me Lord? Where do You want me to serve You?
I am Your song, your servant. Singing Your praise like Mary"

And yet, this week, I was challenged to be an equal... a friend. Someone who is willing to "sit down with Jesus over a cup of tea and "tell all""; I think it's easier to serve.

It is easier to sit at a piano and play music than to sit honestly and humbly at the foot of an altar.  It is easier to fill the quiet with music or the sound of joyful service to another than to open up the gates. It will make me sound like a horrible and greedy person, but I really wish that Jesus would have consulted before he just walked in and said, "No, no... I don't call you a servant... I call you a friend" and before he implied that friends know the intimate details of one another. 

It is easier to be the sheep who follows a shepherd to the green pasture than to walk alongside a friend.  When walking beside someone, I am the person who is tempted to still go my way - and if the friend follows then the conversation continues and if they don't, then we head our separate ways for a bit. 

It is easier to scrub dishes, pots and pans, and clean the table than to sit in conversation with another. Easier to ensure that the kitchen is tidy after a common meal than to have another beat me to it.  Easier to create gifts, plan co-workers surprise birthday parties, and pass around homemade cards than it is to console them after they get disappointing news.  Truly - I am the person trying to make awkward jokes about a situation or the weather to simply brighten the office!

Then again, maybe I want to have my cake and eat it too?  Maybe I am truly struggling because somewhere deep down inside, I long for the day when I can pour a cup of tea, sit in the sunshine, and converse freely with a friend... as though no time had past since the last time.


  1. Don't I just relate to this Mary Beth!

  2. I love this. It can sometimes be so easy to hide behind the serving, and not have to risk vulnerability.

  3. I just got my first "your a terrible minister" letter - three pages, 8 pt type. Yuck! Right now I hate this job. I do not hate my calling - just the job. I want to scream at this person - quit being such a victim! I feel so misjudged. I think I'll take my own advice.
    Mary Beth - I too relate. Thank you women for being there!


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