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To Serve and Be Served


“What did you learn in church today?”

“Nothing.  We ate candy.”

“I don’t believe that’s all you did.  Try again.  What was the story about?”

They rush to answer together, their words crashing and bouncing like bumper cars.

“Jesus washed their feet.”

“Whose feet?”

“The men.  He washed their feet.  And then Peter stood up and said, ‘Hey.  Don’t wash my feet.'”

“Why was Jesus washing their feet?”

“Because they were dirty.  They had very dirty feet.”

All true.  But missing a few nuances.

“Way back then, it was the job of the least important person to wash the feet of the other people.  So what do you think Jesus was teaching them?”

“That they had dirty feet.”

“And, he was serving them.  He was showing them that they were more important.  That’s what we do when we serve someone – we show them that they are more important.”

A few hours later, we have a brilliant opportunity to put this into practice. In a creative frenzy, the boys had scattered their puzzle pieces across the floor.  Four puzzles, disembodied and strewn about.

“Guys, you’ll need to clean this up.”

“My brother cleaned up one, and I already cleaned up two.”

“Well, now’s your chance to serve him by cleaning up the last one.”

Heavy sigh.  “Fine. Tucker?  Watch me.  I’m serving you.”

That’s not exactly the attitude we’re looking for, kiddo.

But the bedtime practicum was the best.

Tucker lay in his top bunk, thinking of his checklist of needs.

Blanket: Check.
Fresh water: Check.
Slipper socks: Check.
Bathroom light…. aha.

“Mommy?  I need someone to come and turn on the bathroom light.  You know that’s what I need every night.”

“Tucker, I’m finished up there tonight.  You can turn it on and get back in bed.”

“But… I need someone to serve me.”

Three times he made this request.  “Please?  I need someone to serve me!  Serve me!!”

Nope.  No dice.  That’s definitely not how it’s going to work around here.

There is a difference between serving someone or treating them like your servant.  It’s a fine line, gentlemen.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. There are days I feel just like Tucker. 🙂
    Love this story. Love you, my fried.

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