Posted by: JennyRain | March 19, 2007

Part 4: The Divine Setup: Engaged by Grace

I penned some of my struggles throughout the week in Gulfport in my journal…

3:40 p.m. Homeward Bound: Suzie, our house mom, caused me to take pause and self-examine today. Whenever she really wanted something done, like the floor grout cleaned, she found me. Not anyone else in the group, but me. My initial reaction was to “do” but inwardly mistrust her intentions rather than seeing them as a fingerprint of God’s grace attempting to move.

The irony of the fact that we were down in Gulfport to serve juxtaposed with my inner monologue protesting against defined-service activities shows where I really am in the ministry journey. Foster states that we are more likely to grumble at service if we are trying to control it. Someone who is a servant does not even ponder grumbling because they have given up all rights long ago. They do not worry if they are being taken advantage of, manipulated, or if they can trust the one asking them for the service task, because they have chosen the position of “servant” and what does a servant do? They serve. Not by choice, but by position.

I have chosen to serve, but on my terms and by my conditions.

Will I chose to lay down my rights and my tiara and become a servant for the kingdom? God help me, for I cannot do it on my own. My psyche is becoming self-limiting to the in-breaking of the Spirit.

Also of note is when Suzie first received the bad news about her father going into the hospital, and then his ultimate diagnosis. She “just happened” to be standing nearest to me. I was busily scrubbing away at the grout, proud that I could leave her with the blessing of a clean house (I had long since broken through the wall of resistance to helping get her house clean). Suzie received her father’s diagnosis of impending surgery and the after-effects of it (life-time care) and I was right there. Immovable. Frozen emotionally while I busily distracted myself with the tiles, torn between task-completion and Suzie’s broken-heart. Which needed repairing more? I could only see the tiles. They were safer. I could have stopped working – I did not.

The “gift” I was working on for Suzie (clean tiles) blinded me to the real need in front of me, Suzie’s heart.

I was ashamed that I did not know how to help her crumbling emotions, but I was resolute in my growing grout-cleaning expertise. The tiles masked the need until I could put it out of my mind. I could have prayed with her – I did not. I could have counseled her, I have the skills – I chose not to. What if I said something wrong, or made it worse? What if she said “no” she did not want to pray? What if she was mad at God and I could not answer her questions?

Service, true God-led, worship-centered service, is not yet something I can say I have fully wrapped my heart or my hands around. I have started to open my heart to the divine workings of Grace surrounding me everyday, but I still have so very much to learn. I am in-process. There is still, after all the years of service, so very much of me in the equation, and perhaps not yet as much as I would like of the Divine. “Me” is an important element of Kingdom work, most definitely, I would just like to learn how to partner more effectively with Grace instead of push Him out the door when I think I have the system mastered.

Is this perhaps another area where God is asking me to open up the window and allow Him greater running-room? An area where I have not allowed him to work on the severed-connections from my youth that still need healing? A facet of my life that I have not yet handed over the keys of control? An area of the Kingdom where I can not see the role of the church and my role therein as robustly as I could?

What is the lingering fear that holds me back from fully laying down my rights in service and surrendering my heart to the One who calls me into a servant’s shoes and stands ready to put them on for me and tie the laces… even writing such a sentence feels like I am enclosing myself into captivity rather than opening the doors of freedom.

I have much to learn.

All entries copyrighted by author 3.19.2007 (c)


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