Friday, December 31, 2010

Reasonable Service

My mom loves snow.

No, my mom LOVES snow.

I mean, she really, really LOVES snow.

For the past four months my mom’s mom (my Grandma) has been very sick and nearly died. She had open heart surgery, was in the hospital for 3 months and is now at last on the road to recovery. For my mom, this has been an agonizingly long road marked by small milestones like speaking again, eating on her own, and taking first steps. And my mom has been right there beside her every day. She’s gone from spending days and nights in the hospital to spending hours at the nursing home. She knows all the nurses and attendants at the hospital by name and, before I got home and started cooking, the servers at the Vietnamese take-out restaurant all knew her by name. It’s pretty much turned her life upside down.

Watching my mom care for her mom, these words keep ringing in my ear: reasonable service.

Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Reasonable service. What does that mean? To me, reasonable service would be to visit my grandmother once a day, to hire someone to care for her, to go to the doctor’s appointments, etc. That sounds reasonable.

To spend nights and days in the hospital? To sit with my grandmother at every single meal to make sure she eats enough? To wash her clothes every day? To cook her special food? To quit your job to be able to help her? To change your lifestyle and give up your own routine and pleasure just to care for her? Well, that’s great, but that’s just above-and-beyond the call of duty.

But that’s not what this verse says. It basically says this:

reasonable service = living sacrifice.

That doesn’t sound reasonable at all. I don’t think sacrifice could ever be described as reasonable. And that's why the very next verse says,

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is, in watching my mom caring for her mom these past four months in ways that I would say are just unreasonable, my mind is being renewed as to what reasonable service ought to look like. Perhaps what seems like reasonable service to me is in reality far short of what God actually requires. And all the Cinderemma jokes aside, I’ve realized that my reasonable service is simply this, to be a living sacrifice.

After four months in and out of hospitals, on Christmas day, my Grandmother was able to come home for the morning and spend a few hours unwrapping gifts with her family. It was a huge, joyful milestone in this long process. And get this, on top of everything, on Christmas morning...it snowed.

It snowed.

My mom loves snow.

Did I say that already?

1 comment:

mikthehick said...

em this is amazing!

And just a word of edification...I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8

Have a happy new year and i hope that God continues to bless your family:)

--kim

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