I was up to my elbows in chopped onions, celery, garlic and carrots, the foundations of a spaghetti sauce for twenty-five people’s Sunday dinner. With each trip to the refrigerator, I had to reach around bowls of leftover ice cream toppings, a visual reminder I had spent all of the previous day preparing food for an even larger party the night before.
I cooked frantically. We were leaving shortly to walk the two miles to the first home game of the football season. The tickets waited impatiently on the table next to the gift for a bridal shower I would attend Sunday afternoon—after the spaghetti lunch.
This was a four-event weekend, and I seriously needed my doppelganger to show up and assume half of the responsibility. I would have preferred it to be the one with shiny, just-straightened hair. But in the state in which I found myself, the one with ‘fresh from the shower, no-time-to-dry’ hair would have been the more accurate representation.
With so much going on, you would have thought my emotions would have had the courtesy not to write their own story. But there they were, swinging petulantly between proud and pitiful. My already full hands alternately patted my back, in congratulation for my selfless service, and held my head to keep it from spinning.
Neither extreme reflected my heart nor my motivation for this marathon weekend. Three of the events were to honor young people I love. Each has had a special place in my life. Individually they have assisted me in ministry, shared their talent and partnered in mission. I have watched as God called them to use their unique gifts to serve him.
I thought of their faces. I remembered the experiences we had shared. I knew I had been honored by the opportunity to watch these men and women mature. I was glad I could support these friends who now are serving God with their whole lives.
Somewhere between chopping and sautéing, I gained a new perspective.
Yes, every tiring task was worth it. The shopping, cooking, transporting, cleaning—I would do them all again. I was doing it for them!
A quiet voice whispered into my euphoria, “You have set your sights too low.” Then in the gentle words of Jesus, I was reminded of who I really served.
‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25: 40)
My doppelganger was a no-show, but if she had made an appearance, I would have been happy to share with her the joy that comes from serving the One who gave his all for me.