I was late...again.

I'd never been to the eye care clinic and I had no idea where it was. We drove around in circles until I got lucky enough to spot it. With five of our six kids in tow (one is in school), I finally made it to the front doors. A friend of mine and her two kids were just inside getting ready to leave. I said hello, told her I was late and was about to say goodbye...and that's when she did something so unexpected. She turned from the door, grabbed one of the babies off my hip and said "let me help you." And she did. Not just to the waiting area, she stayed the whole time. She waited with four of my kids and two of her own while I took our youngest in to have her eyes checked. She took my kids potty and played blocks with them - in the smallest waiting area I have ever seen, totally disregarding her own schedule just to serve me...joyfully.

Her kids had already had appointments, she could have said "Hi" and made her way out the door, but she didn't. I thought about it so many times over the next few days. How often do I serve like that? I'm ashamed of the answer. How often do I spontaneously sacrifice for others without grumbling in my heart? Rarely. I thought about John 13:35 "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for another." We weren't just two moms and oodles of kids in the waiting room - it was a picture of a servant's heart, changed by the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. He served all of us, shed his blood, took the wrath we deserved so we could live in freedom and serve with joy. What would happen if we all lived and loved in light of that reality? If we served more than we spoke and our passion was in our hands not just our heads...what would happen if we served our city that way?

Romans 12:9-11 says "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord." I'm challenged to serve with joy...without scheduling it in my calendar. I want my life to stand as a testimony that Jesus can bring a cold dead heart to life.

Charlie Young

Charlie Young is a former member of Sovereign Hope Church who now resides in Albany, New York with her husband Leon and their six children.