As long-time readers of the blog know I have a bit of a tradition going where I write about how people have made a difference in my life. It’s my way of acknowledging some of the richest blessings God has given me. It is unfortunate that up to this point I have yet to write about my mom. It isn’t for a lack of material; in fact, the exact opposite is true. It is hard to encapsulate in a mere blog post all the ways that my mom makes a difference. Because of that, this may be the first of many such posts. It is fitting however, that I at least attempt to articulate how my mom has enriched my life and the life of others. There are few people I know who so consistently make a difference for God’s Kingdom yet do so in such an understated and often unrecognized way. The main way she does this? She’s a servant. It’s one of the first words I think of when I think of my mom and one of the things that I’m convinced she will be most acclaimed for when she meets her Lord. Here are just some of the ways my mom makes a difference through how she serves:
She serves faithfully. – As anyone who has had the privilege of serving alongside my mom knows, if she commits to do something, you can all but guarantee that she will do it. She is often the first person to be somewhere and the last to leave. It doesn’t matter what role has been assigned to her, she will do whatever bit of service is most needed in order to ensure that the ministry she has committed to is carried out with excellence. I can’t think of a single time that she refused to do any particular task. As a teacher she taught her students the importance of diligence and she is a living representation of it. She serves unwaveringly and tirelessly, pouring out her life in order to bless others.
She serves expansively. - Not only does my mom serve faithfully, but she serves in a variety of different capacities and ministries. From leading a junior high small group, to coming alongside young moms, to reach out to those who, like her, have lost their husbands, if she sees someone in need and believes that there is a way she might be able to bless them, she is there to do so. She cooks meals, babysits kids, teaches Truth, prays fervently, shares wisdom and does a variety of other things. It seems that almost any time our church puts out a call for volunteers, my mom is checking her schedules and commitments to see if there is one more way that she can minister to others. She doesn’t restrict herself to those areas of service where she is most comfortable or where she is most naturally inclined. Anyone and everyone is a potential object of her ministry commitment.
She serves with love. - It would be easy to read what has been written so far and to think that my mom serves so well because she is such a hard worker and she is excellent at managing her schedule. But to come to that conclusion would miss one of the most important reasons that my mom is so effective in her service; she loves those that she serve. Again, because she serves in so many different ways this means she loves so many different people. She cries for them when they hurt, she prays for them when they struggle and she cheers for them when she sees God’s good work in their life. For my mom, serving isn’t about getting things done. It is about loving others so that through doing so, they may experience the love of Christ.
She serves to serve her Savior. – The single most important thing to know about my mom and her commitment to serve is that ultimately it is not the people that she is ministering to who are the object of her service. She serves them because when she does so she is serving Christ. I am convinced this alone is the reason everything else I have written above is true. She serves faithfully, expansively and with love because when she looks at those she ministers to she sees the sacrifice, grace and forgiveness of her Savior. She may grow weary, but she knows that He does not. It may seem that she has been overlooked, but she knows that the One who matters sees it all. It’s because she loves her Lord that she serves those He has placed in her path. It’s because He was a servant (Mt. 20:28) that she has committed her life to the same.
As you can see from what I’ve written, my mom is an exceptional human being. The fact that God choose such a woman to be my mom is one of the greatest blessings He has ever given me. I have learned so much through her words and through the way she lives her life. I know that I’m not alone in that regard.