Monday, August 9, 2010

A Legacy to Strive For...The Makings of a Servant

"Life is so unnerving for a servant who's not serving..." Lumiere, "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast

I spent last night and the better part of my day today hearing the legacy left by a man who truly embodied what it meant to serve, as I said goodbye to the man who was my "other daddy" for a good portion of my teenage years. I practically lived at their house because that's where my friend Melissa lived. I was always treated like I was his biological child. He had no problems scolding and punishing when I did wrong. It sucked at the time, but OH how I love him for it now.

I watched as people came and went from the funeral home. I listened to stories told. I saw tears shed and goodbyes said, but today I realized (I'm a slow learner) that all this time, I had a living, breathing example of a servant in front of me. I have been raised in church all of my life. From the time I came into this world, my parents have made sure that I was in church. I have heard probably hundreds of sermons on service, having a servant's heart, etc. I know the scripture:
Matthew 20:25-28 (NIV)
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

I KNOW all of these things, but there is something about seeing the legacy of service left by someone else that leaves you motivated to do more. It leaves you feeling as though you could always use a little less 'selfish' and a little more 'selfless' in your life.

Servants are available. They pretty much live a life of availability often putting others needs above their own. A servant is able to see needs and seize moments to meet those needs. They do the best with what they have and they approach every task with equal dedication. Nothing big or small. They see something that needs to be done and they do it. Servants are people you know you can count on. They are faithful and reliable. But the craziest thing is that a true servant never sticks out. The keep a low profile and never expect anything in return.

"I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me....?" Nichole Nordeman, Legacy

Bill Wood received the 'send-off' and honors due a hero. It was AMAZING - just like him! He was most definitely the embodiment of a servant. He was a veteran (served in the US Air Force), a fire fighter (current Fire Chief in Mounds, IL), a police officer and Police Chief, a Mason, a Little League coach, a volunteer at the local fair to organize the parking situation. You name it, he probably did it. He was constantly doing for others. He just did what needed to be done and didn't think about it. That was just him! He had a servant's heart.

From the bagpipe player (who blew me away), the mile-long escort of police and fire vehicles (10 police cars and every fire truck from Mounds, Mound City, Olmsted, Karnak, Ullin, Pulaski, and Cairo), the detour in the funeral procession by his fire house, the National Cemetery where 2 ladder trucks raised their ladders to fly our country's flag, the 21-gun salute and Taps, to the salute processional by the local VFW members, it was nothing short of inspirational and amazing!

Today Bill Wood went 10-42 (end of duty). The sound of sirens saluting him, his service, and his life made me weep (and I had been doing do well...).
Rest in peace my 'nother daddy. Rest in peace.

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Oh, God give us servant's hearts. Help us to always reach out a hand to those who need it. Every time we remember the people in our lives who walked out the life of a servant, may we be challenged to strive for that same legacy. May life be unnerving when we aren't serving and may that lead us to do more for others.

Matthew 25:34-40 (MSG)
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'
"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'


Nanny said...

Love the blog!! Made me cry!!! Imagine that...

Sheena said...

Thanks Nanny. Love you!

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