Today is Day 17 of #LoveBlog, with the prompt Acts of Service. It’s not too late to share your post for yesterday’s prompt, Social Media! Find all the prompts at the original post.
I have a treat for y’all today! I’ve been a little overwhelmed with blogging every day this month for #LoveBlog. While I’m certainly thrilled to host this blogging challenge, February has been much busier than I anticipated. Blogging daily has definitely negatively affected my sleep this month.
My sweet sweet husband recently offered to blog for me a few times this month. Dan wrote today’s post! I have to confess, I teared up a little reading his guest post the first time.
I’d like to interrupt the regular programming by issuing a guest post for Brita. This month she has been blogging daily about topics relating to love. While I could take the easy route, and write a post about how by writing this post, I am performing an act of service, and blah, blah, blah, I decided to do go through some examples of acts of service that have made an impact with me.
For those of you not raised in the more traditional denominations of Christianity, the term Maundy in the title refers to the washing of feet (which is performed in many Christian denominations–they just don’t tend to use antiquated Latin terms). Historically, the washing of feet was done for practical purposes. In ancient times, sandals were the norm in the Middle East, and I imagine living in the desert would tend to get your feet dirty.
As many of you are well aware, I am not a religious person. However, I do see value in the lessons contained within religious texts. While Jesus may not have been the guy to invent expressing love by doing acts of service, he may be the most famous example.
John 13 is a specific example that most people are familiar with when Jesus washed the feet of the Apostles. As the Bible tends to do, there are multiple messages in this passage. The first of which is that love transcends class and power. Peter himself balked at the idea of Jesus washing his feet. Jesus proceeded to do it anyway and explained to them all that this was to be an example for them to follow. This is not a unique circumstance for Jesus. He was quite the expert at performing acts of service throughout the Gospels.
But love isn’t a one-way street. In Luke 7, the tides were quite different and a “sinful woman” washed Jesus’ feet. This act of service was a symbol of love and, again in the Bible, also a lesson on the forgiveness of sins.
Though I am not religious, you may wonder why I decided to use this as my first example and the inspiration for the title of my post. When I read the verses of John, I see not Jesus washing Peter’s feet, but my mother washing the dishes after dinner. If there ever was an example of love being expressed through acts of service, it is my mom. It can be hard to get her to sit down and rest because she is always running around from task to task, selflessly serving others. From the mundane washing of dishes, fetching food, and doing the laundry you asked her not to touch, to the deep love she shows by caring for her mother, helping to clean our new home, and providing daycare for her new grandson.
All this touching language about my mother is not to say I didn’t get a good example from my dad too. I’m pretty sure it’s from him that I developed my reputation at the Long household for completing projects when I visit. As long as I can remember, my dad has gone out of his way to help complete projects for family and friends.
My dad’s abilities are not just physical either. He has provided mentoring to more young students and professionals than I can keep track of. He also has volunteered on numerous committees and even the HOA board to help improve his community. The most vivid memory I have of my dad volunteering was his work on the building committee for the new church built at my grade school.
Like in the Bible, acts of service should not be a one-way street… For all the acts of service my parents have done for me, considering I’ll never be ever to repay them for all of their love, I try to be of service to them when I can. As much as I can get frustrated by doing technical support, I do hope they appreciate me doing what I can from so far away since my options for service are more limited.
As many projects as I have done at the Long house, I don’t know that I’ve ever washed the dishes there… I try to cook when I can, but cleaning up afterward is not one of the things I excel at [insert plug for amazing wife here]. For every time I do something as simple as running to the store to get something for my wife, she makes the bed in the morning that she never gets to enjoy because I generally go to bed first and throw everything back into disarray. I’m not saying that acts of service or love in general should be a quid pro quo (yep, more Latin… gotta use that high school education), but love is a two-way street. You shouldn’t be keeping score, but you shouldn’t let someone take advantage of your love either.
I am deeply indebted to my parents for giving me the example of showing love through acts of service. It makes up for my frequent inability to express love verbally. I may not be any good at conversation with friends, but I’m happy to change their oil. I may not say “I love you” enough to my wife, but I do try to clean and have the house looking sparkling for her when she is away. I may not know what to say in tough times, but I sure know how to pressure-wash a pool patio. I am not one who is known to cry, but I feel like it’s just as meaningful to clean the carpets for a grieving family.
And even though I said I wouldn’t, I’ll still take credit for putting together a blog post to let my wife rest for an evening from a month of daily writing.
Meet Your #LoveBlog Hosts!
Meet Brita Long: Christian feminist blissfully married to Dan Fleck for almost two years. Lover of Paris, pink sparkles, sensible shoes, manicures, and books. Fueled by hot tea and mimosas.
Meet Brianna Campbell: Married to a dashing filmmaker named Clark, mama to our fur-child, Theodore. Blogger, singer/songwriter, and legal assistant. I love Jesus and cold beer. I write about health and wholeness, relationships, and finances. You can usually find me with coffee in hand watching Doctor Who or Friends.
Welcome to #LoveBlog!
What did you think of Dan’s guest post? Isn’t he the sweetest?!