13 September, 2015

Will you pick up a towel?

Images, Images, Images.  I'm surrounded by photos that take my breath away.  Facebook is filled with beautiful people and beautiful pictures.  If I didn't know better I would be tempted to believe that all of life is beautiful and carefree.  I look at all the adventure and beautiful pictures and feel amazed. I wonder if all of us on Facebook would dare to start posting pictures of the not so beautiful days in our lives.  I mean....shall I post a picture of my recent fight with the weeds in my garden or the mounds of dirty clothes awaiting me in the laundry room??   And then there are photos from my recent issue of Sports Illustrated that make my heart beat fast for football season to finally start! Photos of my children decorate my house!  Images of happiness and love and joy are what I choose to have around me.  Those are the images I want but there are others that have crowded into my mind's-eye as well.

A favorite story and image of mine takes place in a small house with a small group of people gathered for the evening meal.  The meal took place with all manner of food served, stories, laugher and some deep conversations.  The host of this particular dinner was a CEO type of fellow but still engaged his staff beautifully never wanting them to feel less-than but always feel included.  This particular leader demanded a lot from his staff but rewarded their work.  He was so very respected...to have a seat at his dinner table was a revered position and only a few were attending on this particular night.  So after a beautiful dinner that included selfies with the CEO, the group was relaxed and radiating in their joy to be at the table; surely their careers would take off from this point.  But it was at the end of dinner when the CEO stood to offer remarks that things turned sideways.  For he did not stand to give a lecture but he stood to pick up a towel.  He then proceeded to go to every member seated at the table, remove his shoes, and wash his feet.  This powerful CEO used his humility and service to offer the largest reward and promotion of the night.  He gave those attending a beautiful image, forever burned into their minds.

I have another image burned into my mind.  It's not a beautiful picture from Facebook or Instagram.  It's not an image I wanted to see.  It's not even a picture I can understand...but it's an image confronting me.  And if I had been born into a different country...could this be me?

Could it still be me and mine one day?  What do I do with this image?  Where do we place this in our information age?  Can I keep living my Facebook life in my beautiful home in my unscathed little world?  What is the answer to this awful situation?  As I sit in my comfortable home and see the beauty that surrounds me....what can I do?

"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."  John 13:14

Maybe the answer is in the towel.  I can pick up my towel to those in my life.  I can pray for those people looking for a home, for refuge.  Those guys sitting around with Jesus that night certainly picked up their towels after that evening.  They made a difference in their immediate world, with their immediate friends and their community.  I want to live like that.  I want my life to be about serving.  I want to pick up my towel and serve those least expecting it.  Don't we need to open our eyes not only to the beauty and blessings in our lives but also to the pain and hurting in the world?  Don't we want to make a difference?  Who can you serve?  Will you pick up your towel?

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