After a few weeks of “sleeping in” until 6:30, my family recently returned to our regular schedule, which means 4:45 am wake-ups for me. I like to be in my glider, coffee in hand, by 5:00 for some study and prayer time before setting out for the gym.
On the first day back to routine, my husband got up with me and walked downstairs to make coffee.
“Honey, it’s so early,” I said. “I can make my own coffee!”
“I know you can,” he replied. “But I like making it for you.”
With that, he headed for the Bunn, and I for my lamp-lit corner.
There’s something about coffee in the morning, isn’t there? The earthy bitterness. The comfort. The rejuvenation. The only thing that improves it is when someone else brews it for you. To me, a serious addict who does not enjoy early morning or late evening administrative tasks (yes, I consider coffee-making administrative!), my husband’s gesture is the ultimate expression of love.
He knows I am completely capable of making my coffee (and he is completely able to remain in bed for another hour or more), yet he ventures downstairs into the cold dark house to bring warmth and life to my morning.
What a servant. What a heart.
Last weekend, my husband traveled hundreds of miles to visit his grandmother, “Mammaw” Phyllis, who was recently diagnosed with an illness that will likely leave her with only a few weeks to live. For Phyllis — a woman of true gumption — one of the most difficult aspects of the disease has been her decreased mobility. Her mind is fully present, but her body is weak.
For many springs, Phyllis and her husband John have planted and tended a sizeable vegetable garden. (Her canned green beans are considerably famous and quite dear to my husband’s heart!)
A few weeks ago, knowing that Phyllis wished to be in the garden but felt too weak to work, John carried a chair outside and parked her in it.
“You just sit there and tell me what you want me to do,” he said. “And I’ll do it.”
She directed him to pluck this or prune that, his hands moving carefully and steadily through rows of beans and tomatoes, caring for the plants as she would care for them.
In that simple act of service, he breathed life back into her. As he helped her to forget about her condition, he helped her to remember that her peace and happiness were top priorities for him — that he was willing to work, to serve, in order to secure those things.
Friends, aren’t we made to serve? To give?
In our marriages, our families, our churches and communities, we are surrounded with hundreds of possibilities of ways we can support and serve one another — not because we have to, but because we want to!
Wouldn’t it be lovely if each of us pursued the opportunity to shoulder a burden, provide relief, or perform a task, no matter how simple, to breathe life into another human being?
Whether in the garden or at the office, in the kitchen or the shopping mall, there are things we can do to serve. Start small. Start with coffee.