Read His Words Before Ours!
I currently spend my working hours at the front desk of a doctor’s office. I am the voice answering the phone and seeking to assist the person on the other end. I am the one who schedules the next appointment and wishes individuals a good day as they leave. I am the face welcoming them to the office as they arrive for appointments.
For the most part, I love my job, because I am able to serve patients and my fellow staff members from my role at the front desk. The position enables me to be a blessing in a scenario where anxiety may be high and tensions may be mounting. My ability to multitask, function in a fast-paced environment, and think quickly on my feet increases the effectiveness of my service.
I prayed a great deal during the interview process for this job. Was this the job for me? It was not a logical choice in light of my degrees or the jobs I had previously held, but I knew I wanted a place where I could serve the Lord and those around me while also healing from the previous toxic work environment I had left.
Repeatedly, I sensed the Lord confirming this job choice. Several years later, I have discovered multiple reasons for my presence in the office, including the chance to write this Journey Study on loving the neighbor who provides a service!
For clarification, everyone, regardless of job title, provides a service: the stay-at-home mom, the CEO, the custodian. We all have the invitation to serve wherever we are with a mindset of working unto the Lord.
In the last several months, I have heard Beth Moore and Christine Caine reference the story in Luke 7 of Jesus asking Simon if he sees the woman before Him. Both highlighted the reality of Simon not truly seeing the woman, in contrast to the Lord seeing her, knowing her, and loving her.
The Lord demonstrated an intentionality Simon sorely lacked. Simon was blinded by the woman’s reputation and (in his eyes) inappropriate display of wastefulness. Yet, the Lord saw her as His precious child, looking past her sordid history and culturally unacceptable display of worship to the heart behind them.
We are invited to do the same.
To pursue intention.
To truly see the people before us and invite Christ’s love to guide our interactions.
Now, if you are like me, you could use some examples of what intentionality might look like. Below are a few suggestions of ways to truly see those providing a service.
Names are significant.
More often than not, people in the service industry wear name tags. While this is a useful tool in getting their attention, it is also an excellent reminder they are unique individuals. Throughout Scripture, the Lord highlights the importance of names. (Genesis 17:3-16) Therefore, when possible, use the name of the person with whom you are interacting.
We can honor individuals with our awareness of their dignity as human beings, rather than simply valuing them for the service they are providing. I am always surprised when people use my name when interacting with me, and I feel the interchange took place between two people, rather than simply patient to staff.
Regardless of the service being rendered, express gratitude to the individual providing it. This creates value for that role and honors the person at the same time.
Let’s remember in order to complete their jobs, even people performing what might be considered the most menial of tasks still carry a level of authority and access higher than our own. For example, a server at a restaurant has access to the kitchen. Let’s recognize and acknowledge, with gratitude, workers are walking in the authority granted to them in order to meet our needs.
Learn from examples of excellence.
For a season of life, the Lord consistently drew my attention to examples of excellence. More often than not, these demonstrations were observed in the service industry. I observed people doing their jobs with high levels of integrity, attention to detail, and positive, uplifting attitudes. Each person challenged me to do the same. I remember truly seeing those individuals in a deeper way as they taught me to live my life better.
The Lord created us to fellowship with others. While it may be easy to do this with those with whom we have a deep connection, we also may fellowship with those who provide a service when we truly see them.
The Lord is a good author, and our neighbors in the service industry are living His beautiful stories.
Let’s celebrate them and love them well!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!