It Only Happens Once In A While. But When It Does, I Call It A Heart-Spark!
When I turned 50 last May, I declared a Jubilee Year to celebrate! It’s been fun and refreshing. But now that I am on the doorstep of 51, I have been seeking direction from God for the next ten years. My spiritual history reveals themes for each decade. I wanted something specific for my fifties.
I was sitting in church listening to a familiar message from John 13.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
In response to the example of Jesus, I breathed a prayer,
O God, my heart is stirred by the beauty of this passage. Help me become more selfless. Teach me to be a willing servant in my fifties.
A prickly perspective came into focus. Jesus deliberately chose to pick up the towel and wash the disciples’ feet. Immediately, fear leaped up in my heart! I didn’t have a problem with serving, but I was afraid to deliberately choose to surrender to being a servant!
In Ragman, Walter Wangerin, Jr. realistically describes servant hood:
And the first flush of that experience is, generally, a sense of failure; for this sort of ministry severely diminishes the minister, makes him insignificant, makes him the merest servant, the least in the transaction.
Who would deliberately choose to be selfless under these circumstances? I found my answer later in the service in the book of Isaiah chapter 66 verse 2.
“For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word.”
Humility is the path to intimacy with God. Each time I deliberately choose complete surrender, God deliberately chooses to observe. His loving gaze rewards and empowers me.
It was then that I experienced a heart-spark!