Somewhere along the way I lost perspective.
For as long as I can remember I’ve equated serving God with helping “those people over there”. The orphans in Africa. The poor in our inner cities. The crowds who line up at the food bank my daughter and I volunteer for. My concept of godliness also included leading Bible studies, praying over the hurts of people in my church, sharing my faith with a seeking friend—stuff anyone would easily classify as “spiritual work”. Now, please don’t get me wrong. All these things are doing the work of God and I plan to keep on doing them.
But, too many of us I fear—me included—fail to define the small acts of service done to those who share our homes, our cubicles, our apartments or our dorm rooms as “the works of God”.
But they are.
Every diaper you change is a work of God.
Every meal you cook is a work of God.
Every homework assignment you oversee is a work of God.
Every pile of laundry you fold is a work of God.
Every encouraging, compassionate conversation you have is a work of God.
Every godly piece of advice you share is a work of God.
Every faithful day at your job is a work of God.
Every intimate moment with your husband is a work of God.
Every dollar you give is a work of God.
The night before Jesus was crucified he got up from the dinner, put a towel around His waist, knelt down to take the disciples’ dirty feet into his sinless hands, and washed them. At first glance, washing feet doesn’t sound very “spiritual” does it? Yet Jesus chooses this utterly base and menial task to demonstrate what it means to be a person who really follows God. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” Jesus asked. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done”.
Several months ago, I was praying in my shower (which by the way is one of my favorite places to pray. But I digress…) I was asking for God’s blessing and protection over my daughter who’s a freshman at college, thousands of miles from our home. My prayer was so heartfelt that I got down on my knees as I prayed, allowing the water to wash over me. As I prayed I felt God whisper to my heart, “She is your best work. All your kids are.”
It was as if God revealed what I have really known all along, but somehow forgot in the day-to-day routine of living: the real work of God starts with our service to those closest to us.
And in my shower I felt God look down upon me and smile.
God smiles down on your simple acts of service to your kids, your husband and your neighbors, too.
Don’t make the mistake of dividing life up into categories of “spiritual” versus “unspiritual” activities. What makes something spiritual is not the activity but the attitude behind it. All of life is spiritual for a woman who follows Jesus.
Do you want to be a woman who follows God? Don’t look only for the big, or flashy, or grandiose plan God has in store. Instead, look closely at the people who occupy your world. You follow Jesus when you wash their feet.