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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In Service...

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)

...Sometimes the oddest things
can be acts of worship. 
God knew I’d be a handful, so instead of one bestie to pray for me, counsel me, talk me off ledges, He gave me two (He knows). In every way I am able, each time I view an opportunity to serve, I lean in.  This weekend, I had an opportunity to be in service. My Gayle needed me, and I did what I do. I write.

When I spoke to her on Saturday, she was still upset. Apparently a careless teacher discarded every single poem, worksheet, exercise, project, etc., that her firstborn (my godson) created this year in second grace. Without thought. Without apparent remorse. Without apology.  More than 24 hours after it occurred, I could hear the sobs catching in her throat. I had to do something.
When we are wronged, we take a stand. We allow ourselves to be angry, but seek to move productively through anger to action. Usually that takes time, and in the meantime we vent, scream, sob, laugh, and joke about where we’d bury  the bodies. She didn’t have time.

When she called me Saturday morning, she’d sent a sad, sorry emailed paragraph that clearly conveyed her pain, but just wouldn’t do. I knew that she wanted to speak beyond her own bitter disappointment, de-personalizing where possible in order to frame a teachable moment. This was my opportunity to serve.

When I talked to her later Saturday afternoon, I could hear some progress, could sense some healing and a little bit of distance and clarity, but she was nowhere near ready yet. Time, however was running out.  So, I seized the opportunity to serve. There is much I could not do. I couldn’t turn back time and un-ring any bells. What was lost was not going to be restored by my actions, but I could write. I listened as carefully as I could to my Gayle and formulated a plan. I’d write the letter, creating her frame and help her get to her finish line in the desired amount of time. I could serve.

Saturday night, after hanging out way too late and partying way too hard with my other bestie and friends (how blessed am I to have a BFF living across the street who effortlessly combines “hosting with the mostest” and  “party like a Rock Star” like they were born to go together??, I served my Gayle. I wrote. I placed myself in her head and her heart, and with objectivity I knew she couldn’t muster in time, I shaped her words to tell her story. I translated the sadness and disappointment I heard in her voice into a call to action.

Sometimes the oddest things can be acts of worship. I have a friend who claims things with Grace, who declares, “this is my worship.” Well, this conversation was my worship…
I can't tell you how sorry I am. Mean stupid careless people suck, and I'm suffering because you are. Here's a frame to get you started, including a close. Love you…
Love it. Will pray, discuss with K, and edit for final transmission Monday. Thank you.  I love you!  Thank God for you!
I love you more *smile* (what she always says to me). you're welcome. To God Be the Glory.

Grace Point Devotions biblical commentary helped me understand the guidance found in 1 Peter4.
Hospitality is not a one-way virtue; every Christian is in some way capable of ministering to others. Every Christian has a gift (Rom 12:6-8; 1Cor 12:12-31) that he has received from God—whether at birth, rebirth, or sometime after is not stated. Since every Christian has a gift, his being equipped with it apparently takes place with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at regeneration. That the Holy Spirit can take ‘natural’ talents and abilities and redirect them for Christ was most dramatically shown in Paul’s ministry. The believer is not only to view himself as gifted but also as a steward...

So what happened? An infilling of the Holy Spirit let writing for my Gayle be my worship. Channeling her sadness into words and phrases, channeling her tears into a call to action blessed me (pressed me) into service. I served.

Just today, Shelly Miller of Redemption’s Beauty posed the question “what do you want your life to say about you?” Looking back on this worship, I knew my answer…
Hmm...what do I want my life to say about me? That I always sought the lesson and the joy. Even when it was really hard....

Lord, thank You for letting it all be worship. Thank You for opening my eyes and my heart to see it all as service. Thank You for letting me see, experience, and tell. To be a witness. Thank You for continually breaking me open that I might be filled with the Holy Spirit, primed to serve. Thank You.

On Wednesdays, I pray and and play with friends here...

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