“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1)
“Dios da para todo…” were the words my dearest Rosa whispered to me as we tightly embraced the day I had to leave her in my far away hometown. I left her all alone down there, carrying the heavy weight of caring for my ailing, frail, and aging Father. Roughly translated, these words could be interpreted as, “God provides for everything.” Not long before, I had been thinking about how I wanted my parting words to her to be comforting and encouraging so she would not feel so alone carrying such a heavy burden which shouldn’t even be hers to carry in the first place. When the moment came, however, overcome by emotion I could say nothing. All I could do was hold her as tight as I could and sob. The one I sought to comfort was the one comforting me.
I have never met a more selfless soul as
Rosa’s. She is an example of a life dedicated to serving others. She is a living reminder of how to put others first. She is the last person she ever thinks about. She is the first one to step up when a need arises. And she does it without thinking is a burden or an obligation, for she does it out of love. She might not have deep intellectual knowledge of Scripture; but she lives it. She lives the love every day. While I sit and ponder what “Agape” love may mean, she is out there practicing it. She is the closest thing to sacrificial love I’ve ever witnessed in a human being. She gives me a glimpse of the radiance of Christ here on earth.
Watching5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Rosa and even just thinking about her make Scripture come to live in front of my eyes. She is a living example of our commission to serve and to be humble. Like Jesus said: “28 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” (Matthew 20:28) How hard that is for me to grasp, however. My selfishness and attachment to this world and all its things turn this lesson into a jagged pill to swallow. But my reluctance to accept it doesn’t change the truth, and the truth says that we are called to serve, and to serve in the name of Christ, following His very example, as Paul tells us in Philippians 2:5-7:
Being God Himself, He made Himself nothing…
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. (Acts 17:24-25) That same God, in the person of Jesus the Christ, took on flesh and dwelled among us, and suffered the worst of punishments and death to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice to cleanse the sins of those who receive Him and declare Him Lord of All! How can we do less than that? He is our example to follow when dealing with our brothers and sisters in Him. It is by our love that they will know we belong to Him, and that love is commitment and sacrifice. That love is actions of care toward others. That love is surrender to Him who is the only one able to give us such love. We cannot love this way on our own. It is humanly impossible. We cannot selflessly serve by our own power. We cannot die to the world and to self by the engine of our own will. Love by our own human power is never complete. It is never perfect. It is by Him, who loved us first, that we would be able to love Him back and show our love for Him in our love for our brothers.
It is a hidden gate and a narrow way that which leads to Him.(Matthew 7:13-14) The only way to go through it and stay on the narrow path is by His propelling power. We have not the strength, for we are weak. But, “He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)