As I was beginning my morning routine of trading out the laundry, I noticed the laundry fairy had visited. Some kind soul had taken a moment to hang out in one of the least popular locales in the home and leave me with a surprise. Folded amongst socks, shirts and jeans were kisses and hugs. No one but me could see them but I knew they were there because the hands that folded my laundry did so with love.
This morning's reading is 1 Timothy 5. In the early church it was a common practice that the church body would provide financially for women who were widowed. This chapter clarifies the guidelines for whom should be eligible for this kindness. One of the qualities Paul notes as important is a woman who is known for her "good deeds". He then gives four examples of what he considers good deeds to be:
- Raising Children (Verse 10) - Rearing children is a noble task indeed. Mundane tasks such as carpool lines and checking homework can be done for God's glory. Each Christian mother is God's agent to her children as she cares, loves and guides.
- Hospitality (Verse 10) - Who knew the barbecue grill was a sacred vessel? Ever since the first century, receiving someone into your home has been an opportunity to serve Christ. The simple act of opening the door can open a person's heart to Jesus or a deeper understanding of what it means to love and serve Him.
- Washing Feet (Verse 10) - The practice of washing the dusty feet of foot travelers has passed. Today our biggest foot problem might be the occasional gasoline that splashes our shoes. As I pondered this ancient practice, I thought of the bathtub. When we wash tiny toes, we serve Jesus Himself. But Christ is also served in many other often unrecognized posts held by women. The hands that rock a baby in the nursery so her mama can hear about Jesus. The voice that teaches young teenage girls the important of sexual purity. The lips that pray for the sick, lonely and hurting.
- Helping Those in Trouble (Verse 10) - The woman who stops to tie a toddler's shoes and the woman who gives godly counsel to a friend serve the Lord. A godly woman aids hundreds if not thousands during her lifetime. From phone calls made to encourage a hurting friend to the hand-me-down coat given to keep someone warm, small acts of kindness become acts of worship.
Jesus, how amazing it is that You can take the every day moments of my ordinary life and use them to touch hearts and change lives. Today may I see the opportunities for good deeds that lie all around me and not wait for some distant day of being widowed to perform them. Today and every day is a great day to serve You!