“What would you like me to do next, Mum,” Laura asked as she curtsied and then put the broom away.
I looked at her and stifled a giggle. She wore her blue prairie dress and pink apron that I’d made her earlier that year so that she could dress up like a character in one of her favorite book series, and a sunbonnet hung down her back. “You may dust the house,” I said, handing her our wool duster.
“It should have feathers,” she answered, and then caught herself. “Yes, Mum, right away mum,” she said with a grin (and I’m sure her eight-year-old imagination immediately solved the problem of working with a modern duster) and another curtsey. I liked this new, helpful ‘indentured servant’ who immediately and cheerfully set out to do her chores.
An hour earlier, when she’d first called me ‘Mum’ and explained that she wanted to be an indentured servant when she grew up, I had shrugged and wondered how long this phase would last. “Oh, wonderful!” I had said, “That means I’ll only have to buy you one set of clothes each year. Just think of the savings!”
“Yes, Mum,” she’d answered, “that’s written in the contract.”
I’d handed her the broom and asked her to sweep the house. Both of our girls liked to act out stories that they read (they went through a phase of wrapping themselves in blankets and hanging by their feet off the back of the couch when they read Stellaluna). I wondered how long this phase would last. Seriously, though, how long would someone want to act the part of an indentured servant? And what mother in her right mind would go along with the career choice?
Thirteen years later, I realize that every mother should want her child to grow up to be an indentured servant. No, not some kind of modern slave—my desire for both of our daughters is that they indenture themselves for life to their heavenly Father. That serving others comes as second nature.
I’ve been reading and pondering Luke 13—where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet and tries to help them understand that he came to serve and to save—not to perform miraculous signs and defeat the Roman empire.
The Lord and King and Creator knelt down on the hard floor in the position of servitude and scrubbed the nasty feet that had trudged through dust and muck and who knows what else in order to show his closest friends that he expected servant behavior out of them.
“I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things you will be blessed if you do them.” (Luke 13:15-17 NIV)
How often do we think a job is below us when we should be looking to our Father with a smile and a curtsey and saying, “Yes, Lord, whatever you ask, Lord.”
After all, he paid the ultimate price for us. He saves us from a life of slavery to sin and clothes us in his own righteousness. All he asks in return is that we serve him with joy because we love him. (tweet this)
That’s the kind of indentured servant I want to be. I encourage you to indenture yourself to him, too.