Friday, June 3, 2011
Overcoming the Fear of Serving
When you’re at home, comfortable and happy, it is hard to get excited about serving other people. Yeah sure, you’ll take a new mother a meal and you will serve your friends in countless other ways. But, it is hard to get excited about serving other people you don’t know. To go into a situation that you have been. To die to yourself and get out there.
I am sure many of you have heard of the Tom Lee family and the tornado that took their home and father. We love the Lee family. Emily is our piano teacher and we live about 20 minutes away from them. While we did not lose anything in the storm, their home collapsed on top of them and their father was killed. And the night of Wednesday April 29th 2011 will forever be engraved on my memory.
All I knew about tornados, I got from books and the internet. Pictures of houses flattened and trees down. Pictures of people searching through rubble. That was it. No emotional attachment. Just a thought, “those poor people”. No more.
But, when you have driven down the actual road, the road you used to drive on every Sunday, and you see the destruction. When you get lost because all the houses and familiar land marks are gone. When you see the countless crosses beside piles of rubble. When you know that that dark and rainy night, the smell of death and sadness; loss and despair; fear and confusion filled the air. When you know that your dad and many others struggled to get to people we couldn’t contact. When you watch your dad cry as he talks about moving a father’s body. When you wash their clothes and see the tears of friend’s faces. And when you walk the kitchen floor you loved to sit on, except now it has no walls and it covered with dirt.
Then, does the Lord truly open your hearts to the people suffering all over the world. Then do you see the people in the pictures with new understanding. You see families who are searching for a picture of their father. Or the set of dishes their mother loved. You see the children who just want their “softies”. And you know that the people in the photos have faces and lives.
The Lord helped me overcome some of my fear of the unknown in serving others. It is hard. It is sad. No one said it is easy. It is scary. Death, despair, and sadness are not happy things. But the Lord calls us to serve his people. To the ends of the earth. I personally don’t know how and when I will serve out of my comfort zone, but I welcome the opportunity to be challenged.