One who serves

“…For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:26-27*


Sundays after church our large family would pile into the brown Chevy and head to our grandparents’ house for “dinner,” as the Sunday noon-hour meal was commonly called.

Flat-land midwesterners have no concept of how car sick one can get in a 15 minute drive on curvy roads that dip, rise and swerve. I was usually woosie by the time we arrived. And mind you, this was pre-seatbelt days—kids squished into cars like sardines. My younger sister laid on the upper ledge behind the back seat. Someone usually claimed a floorboard behind the front seats. (And everyone learned that pecking order mattered!)

The smells that welcomed us into that small country kitchen were big enough to fill a mansion. Every garden vegetable imaginable, a few meats, bread and a plethora of desserts—that was my grandparents’ house on Sunday.

My grandmother, Ma, prepared the meal. We helped once we got there, but she basically did it all. Then, she didn’t eat with us. Instead, she walked around the table refilling glasses. She checked to see who didn’t get what and asked if they wanted whatever she discovered missing from their plate. (Might as well take a little of everything or you’d be interrogated by the gentle plate nazi!)

Then, after everyone ate, Ma would sit and eat from the left overs. I’m not saying this is how we should do it. But in God’s kingdom, Ma was batting 1,000. She made herself servant to all without even realizing it. She did what she’d spent her life doing—what needed to be done.

We were family. She wanted us to come to her house. Wanted to serve us. Wanted us to taste everything. Heaven forbid someone go home hungry—that would be the shame of her era!

From my grown-up hindsight vision, I’d like to tell her to sit down. Let me take her place, or at least, let us take turns taking her place! I’d like to enlighten her that men are fully capable of serving as well. I’d like to put my 21st century glasses on her 1940’s mindset.

But it wouldn’t do any good. She was among us as one who serves. Like Jesus, it was her nature.

And now I see just how great she was.


*The One Year Bible, NIV, April 24, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishing, Wheaton, Illinois.

photo by Patty Perkins

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About Patty Perkins

I'm Patty, writer of the devotional blog, Beside Quiet Waters. I love writing, reading and taking long walks with my camera. I've been married to my loving husband for 32 years and we have two grown sons. I am thankful for a place to spill ink, in hopes of encouraging others to find daily hope and inspiration in God's Word. View all posts by Patty Perkins

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