A Servant#039;s Heart

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2001

Tomorrow the most highly celebrated holiday in all of Christendom arrives-Easter Sunday.

For Christians, it should be an occasion even more joyous than Christmas.

After all, believers are rejoicing on this day because not only did a Savior come, He came and taught, healed, loved and finally died an awful death over which He ultimately triumphed-all because He "first loved us."

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No greater love . . . we consider anyone who sacrifices their own life in order to save another a true hero.

As humans we are essentially selfish and self-centered creatures. Often we are too wrapped up in our own affairs to even notice someone out there needing help; much less are we sometimes willing to actually try to help them.

Regardless of what you think of Jesus in religious terms, study his life in practical terms and you will discover a man who thrived on giving, helping, healing.

He took great pleasure in the company of small children.

He took the time to help those who were suffering from dread diseases, outcasts no one else wanted to be bothered with.

He welcomed the company of those rejected by society for their life style, race or their sex (I dare you to show me a single instance where Jesus was less than courteous and compassionate to any female-a radical concept in those days).

He looked, not just on the outside, but deep into the hearts of the people He encountered and saw their pain, their anguish, their shame and embarrassment. He never belittled them or their problems.

He simply loved them and served them . . . all the way to a cruel, undeserved cross.

Ah, but the good guys won out on this one.

Christians believe that Jesus' tomb was only a temporary resting-place.

There was joy coming in the morning!

A true servant's heart is a very special heart indeed.

It will undoubtedly suffer rejection, pain and loss as it seeks to reach out to those in need around it.

It will be misunderstood, questioned for its motives, even persecuted at times.

But the true servant knows that the only lasting joy and true peace to be found in life is through giving-of time, talents, resources, energy, knowledge, wisdom, compassion.

It's giving away yourself, a piece of your heart and soul, to lift a flagging spirit, brighten a dreary day, feed a hungry child, fill a head thirsty for knowledge.

Joy comes with serving.

A friend of mine from Madison, Ala. (who is also named Angie) recently shared a story with me.

She was having a really rough day, working at home on minimal sleep, trying to prepare the house for weekend guests, find the source of the decaying animal stench in her house, clean up her puppy's accidents' and keep up with two active children.

She felt totally overwhelmed.

She talked with a neighbor about her frustrations.

Hours later, Angie came back from cleaning up yet another canine no-no to discover plates of freshly cooked food on her counter. Her friend had come home from her job at NASA, prepared the food, slipped it in to her friend's kitchen and quietly headed back to work.

Angie says, "It was easily the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a while."

That, folks, is an example of a lady with a true servant's heart. It's also a challenge to all of us who claim to believe in the Risen Christ "to go and do likewise."

Let's all try to practice a little more servant hood not only on this special weekend but also in each and every day of our lives.

Have a blessed Easter.