Surprised By Serving

By Rob Radcliff

Have you ever been caught off-guard by something unexpected? Surprised by a result opposite of what you anticipated? I certainly found this to be true over the years. When? As I gave myself to (served) others while serving Jesus. Some simple examples:

  • Visiting my grandmother in a nursing home, expecting to find only bad smells and time passing very slowly; instead, finding a grateful and bright woman, desperate for my visit. And joy.
  • Sitting down with my son, talking about a difficulty in his life, expecting to find silence and rejection; instead, finding openness and reception at my approach. And joy.

Several years ago, when I was asked to consider becoming a deacon, I had to admit that I really didn’t know what to expect. Probably, I thought, since this is “official” church work, I would experience bureaucracy and many boring meetings. Once again, I had no idea.

As a deacon, I find that my “work” is not so different than before. As a member of the body of Christ, wanting to serve Jesus has led me – and I suspect many of you, too – to look past myself and reach out to others in need, particularly those right here in our local church, NLD. The need could be material or spiritual, simple or complex. Reaching out could be as simple as a phone call or a meal.

As a deacon, I learned that your deacons do the same thing. As a team, we are your hands and feet to reach out to those with need(s): perhaps material only, or perhaps material/spiritual. Many of the needs may be difficult for individuals in the church to meet. You ask us to serve the body, alongside of you and your service, filling in the gaps.

And as I have been privileged to participate in these endeavors, I find that I discover the same unexpected result: joy. Once again, I am surprised by serving Jesus. I hope you are too.