Serve and Be Served

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14

Last summer, I thought it would be a good devotion to wash my campers’ feet. I had heard of other counselors doing this and thought it would be a great way to exemplify my role in serving them. So I prepared the devotion and began. I talked about how often God serves us and how I have served them that summer. I began to wash their feet.

As I was washing the first girl’s feet, I heard the other girls start to sing hymns. I had not planned this or asked them to sing, but it was beautiful. I continued on to wash each girl’s feet. When I had finished, I went to go clean up some of the supplies. When I came back, my girls were all on their knees, prepared to wash my feet.

It was a perfect moment. I had not expected this, I had not planned this, and yet it was the best representation of God’s love. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet to represent God’s love in serving them. Then He called them to wash one another’s feet. I was taken aback by how much my girls understood this message. They were not just receiving my love that summer; they were constantly giving that love back to me and serving me in different ways.

That evening I had to be reminded that my campers teach me much more than I can ever teach them. They make normal moments beautiful and they are able to serve me in unimaginable ways. That cabin of girls was teaching me how much meaning God put into Jesus’ representation of his love. He serves us in mysterious ways that give us the fulfillment that we crave.

I really believe that growth happens when you are living uncomfortably. That devotion was not the most comfortable, but it created a memory that will serve me for a lifetime.

I charge you to look for opportunities to serve and notice when others serve you. It is a wonderful cycle that God gives us: to provide for others and to receive the love from others. I have felt an abundance of life in moments when I give everything I have to someone else. I love being a camp counselor so that I can give my summer to supporting young women who seek God’s love. But I also love this role because I find myself receiving so much of God’s love from the wonderful women that I am surrounded by at camp. Where do you serve? Who do you serve? What do others do to serve you?

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