Monday, February 24, 2014

How may I serve you?

A few months ago I attended a wedding in which the bride and groom sang a song to each other. It was beautiful and so meaningful. It's called "The Servant Song." While the idea of being a servant has some negative connotations, in this song it contains a mutuality that I think is meaningful for any close relationship.

The first and last verse are the same: "Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you? Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too." The other verses describe the ways in which the two people will serve each other. For example, verse 4 says, "I will weep when you are weeping; when you laugh, I'll laugh with you. I will share your joy and sorrow till we've seen this journey through."

Isn't that beautiful? If you look on YouTube, you can hear it sung as well. The link I provided above is for the lyrics.

This song reminds me that there can be a difference between serving someone and helping someone. Serving, when done in the way implied in this song, is meeting someone toe-to-toe and with a mutual concern for one another. Helping can often imply a relationship of one-up and one-down, of one broken and the other as fixer, of inequality. Perhaps that's splitting hairs. But it does bear thinking about the differences when you and I set about to relate to others.

If I want to truly serve others with my gifts, it's not my strength that allows for the most effective service. It's really my vulnerability that reaches out to touch those lives who have touched mine. It's when I am as real as I can be, with my weaknesses and my strengths, that I best serve and touch the lives of others. I serve best when I share all of myself with another—not when I seek our brokenness and ride in as savior on a white horse!

What do you think about this? Is there a difference?

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