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Get up and wait – a lesson in humility

A quiet lesson in humility {Matthew 8:14-15}

Wordlessly, she busied herself with meal preparations. With least a dozen, hungry travelers to feed, it would take a bit of creativity to make the stew stretch. I’ll make more bread, she thought, as she reached for the jar that held milled grain.

She listened to the men talking about the recent events. So much had been happening, they spoke in layers and all at once, laughing, questioning, increasing in volume.

She, too, had been on the mountainside while Jesus taught such amazing things. Never had any rabbi spoke the way he did. He spoke of happiness and blessing instead of legal issues and politics. He caused a ripple of disgust in the crowd when he talked about divorce and another when he told them to love their enemies.  And just as he was beginning to teach about prayer, she began to shudder with the chills and her stomach churned. She was tremendously ill. The sickness hit her suddenly, but then she realized she’d been achy in her neck and shoulders all day and she had had to take more than a few rests on the way up the hill.

And she remembered little else. The fever overtook her, and the walk home with Peter’s wife blurred in her memory. She remembered arriving home, thinking about supper — then nothing.

But her eyes opened to see the crooked grin and tender gaze of Jesus. His calloused hand lay over hers. She was laying on a mat, a soft blanket rolled beneath her head. Six laughing, happy faces looking down at her.

“We thought we’d lost you, mamma”, Peter said and kissed her hand. With a gentleness not in his nature, Peter helped her to her feet. “You were barely breathing when we arrived. We were so afraid.”

Peter looked at Jesus, gratitude flooding his expression, his eyes sparkling with unshed tears.

“Jesus healed you, mamma.”

She felt so healthy, so not sick. Could it be?

Everyone began to speak at once, hugging her, hugging Jesus, hugging each other. It looked like a party. She decided this party needed food.

She immediately got up and began to wait on Jesus. It was all she could do. She had nothing to offer him, nothing to give him for saving her life. Nothing seemed equal to the value of being healed. So she served him. She did what she had done every other day – cooking, arranging the bowls, pouring the wine – but now, she did it all for him. For Jesus, her healer.

::::

A three point lesson, eloquently spoken by a silent servant:

1. Get up

2. Serve Jesus, serve others

3. Let your service to Jesus speak for you

Shhhh… my spirit, be quiet in this place of healing. Help me learn from the mother of Peter’s wife. Funny, a man notorious for speaking too much had at home a quiet, cooking, mother-in-law in desperate need of Jesus’ touch. Help me be bold like Peter when it serves you best and help me to be a quiet, generous, in-the-background servant when that serves you best. Give me the humility I need to make the most of your healing in my life.

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4 Comments

  1. “Let your service to Jesus speak for you.” We all need that reminder. Actions always speak louder than words, especially to the lost world around us. Nice.

  2. mom says

    I love it when someone is able to add real life to an incident in the Bible. You made Peter’s mother-in-law seems so real not just a story. Isn’t it wonderful how meeting Jesus doesn’t change our every day duties, just our perspective of the duties.

    • That is certain — our perspective of the duties–those things right in front of us–determines whether we are living in the midst and in the strength of grace and gratitude, or not.

    • Thank You! I’ve always liked to play pretend and imagine the real people in the Bible. I grew up in Sunday School and we had these flannel graph illustrations that the teacher put up as visuals. They were helpful, I suppose, in illustrating the stories for young kids, but as I grew up, I realized that I was still seeing the Bible in two-dimensional flannel graph pictures. It helps me to round out the character and find some hidden truth or nuance in the story; plus, I think it’s fun!

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