"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." - John 12:26
John 13:1-17 is to me, one of the most precious of all Jesus' stories in the Bible. In order to illustrate to his disciples what he was doing for them and all of mankind, and also to teach them the importance of service to others, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. Peter protests. He does not want the one who he believes is the Son of God to do something so menial and lowly as to wash his dirty feet. But, THAT is the key to what Jesus tries to teach them and us as well. None of us are above the menial and lowly tasks that are needed from us by our fellow man. Jesus didn't put himself above washing the dirt and crud off the feet of his friends, no matter where he was from, and neither should we.
Jesus wants us to see and learn that we have to "be there" for others. We need to follow his lead and serve others as he did. In order to be where Jesus is, we have to open our eyes and be aware of the needs around us.
Don't we all get so wrapped up in our own daily tasks and troubles that we don't see the needs of others? Do you go into your place of work each day and just "do the job" in your cubicle or in your office and just get through the day so you can go home? When we just "do the job" we might miss seeing the tear stains on the cheeks of one our coworkers. We might miss the sound of bravado in the voice of a customer that is hiding the fear and shame that comes from knowing there's not enough money to cover the bills this month. We might miss the loneliness that is screaming at us from the shy and quiet coworker we pass in the hallway every day.
We miss all those signs...But what are we to do for these people, even if we did see the signs? How can we help the sad, the frightened, and the lonely people we come in contact with each day? We can follow Jesus' lead and serve them. No, I don't mean bending down and taking off their shoes and washing their feet. That might get you fired! But we can listen, talk, smile offer words of wisdom and BE THERE for them. We can pray for them. We can put our needs aside for a few minutes and open our eyes to the needs of someone else. When we make ourselves available to those around us, and serve them in any way we can, God sees this and will bless us as well.
Dear Jesus, thank you for setting an example for me. Help me to follow your lead willingly and cheerfully and open my eyes to the needs of others around me. Bless me so I can be a blessing to someone else today. Amen.