As a Deer Pants - Thirsty Thursday - Servants' Stairs

Last week a friend of mine (long story that, we haven't spent a lot of face-to-face time ... she and her husband were a neighbor of a college friend of mine some years ago is how it all started) shared some pictures of the progress on a remodel in her house.

Understatements. Everything above is an understatement. Most particularly the words "remodel" and "house." This remodel is more of a restoration and the house is a mansion named Gomer's House. The house is named after Hosea's wife ... whom the Lord commanded the prophet to restore to himself as a symbolic act of God restoring Israel to Himself. Again, I digress ... but I love a good backstory.

The particular photo that set the Spirit stirring within me was the project she was working on: staining the servant's stairs.

If you're like us and have even watched a single episode of Downton Abbey you may be fairly well versed in servant's stairs, separate from the rest of the home. Because we see so much of the downstairs in this drama I think we forget that servants were in the background. Like children they were not meant to be heard, and most often were not even seen. Recall with me the shock that always reeled in the kitchen when one of the family made an appearance ...

Jesus makes it clear in no uncertain language that He came to serve and is an example for us. Sometimes it is very hard to serve and not be appreciated. The world we live in tells us that we deserve to be praised and appreciated and to heck with anyone who doesn't!

But that's not what we have been told. We are told that we will be rewarded for what is done in secret. When a lonely mother sits up sleepless for countless hours only to wake with the sun and keep her family fed, she can take comfort that the Lord sees her even when her baby is too young to even smile at her.

When we allow ourselves to be filled with the Spirit, we can do our tasks with gratitude as an act of worship rather than being the "squeaky wheel that gets the grease." To someone who does not know Jesus, that may seem silly and pious. But I'm here to tell you that there is a joy in serving without notice. At times it is even almost a game to me ... to do something I know will serve someone without pointing out that I did it, or even owning up to it when asked.

Jesus chastised Martha about worrying about her preparations. I used to think it was wrong of her to be bustling around preparing ... but perhaps it was only her attitude that was wrong. She was complaining that Mary wasn't helping her. But perhaps if she was serving the Lord with gladness her decision would have been as good as Mary's?

What would our lives look like if we got a little secret smile ... if we got a kick out of serving others undetected? I'd like to spiff up my "servants' stairs" to bring me joy as I quietly do good for the Lord, basking in the glow of His presence rather than the glow of recognition for a job well done.

If you take a moment to following the link to Gomer's House - I think you'll see that Stephanie gets it. Thank you for inspiring this blog, friend ... and countless invisible acts of service.