Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Ministry often means kneeling with others – even beside them in the dirt. But in the case of Elvira, I had to reconsider and say, “Perhaps not.”
When I was a deaconess intern, Elvira came to our church to do “community service”. Over the 15 hours she was required to serve, we became friends. I learned about her family, her home here and in Mexico, and even about her American boyfriend.
As her “supervisor”, the hardest part of my task was watching and not helping her. You see, I didn’t want to appear to be the “gringa” – too good for the task assigned her. I wanted to kneel beside her and pull weeds, too. But there was only so much work per day and, if I helped, she wouldn’t be able to complete her hours. So, after explaining what needed to be done, I let her work. Only for the last five minutes did I kneel beside her; we pulled weeds together.
Sometimes, to honor the work of others, stepping back is the better choice.
Prayer: Teach us, dear Lord, to honor and appreciate the service others render for our sake; and then to kneel in solidarity when the time is right. For you give dignity to all, through your own service to all. Amen.
Deaconess Kathleen Tigerman, Caldwell, ID