The Underground was really powerful tonight. I could see God’s presence, handiwork and attention throughout the whole evening.
This was the sixth installment of a series on discipleship and Logan taught on service. He told a story of when he was in Laos last year and went on a motorcycle ride with Dad and Jesse. They were riding through the jungle, heading toward the Golden Triangle over dirt roads and lush mountains. Once, early in their trip, they passed by a small, crippled man who was limping along the side of the road. Hours later, after seeing the Mekong and eating some noodles, they were driving back home. Logan was leading the pack and he passed by the same man, still walking along at an impossible slow pace, limping along on his lonely journey. He drove on by, but after awhile, he and Jesse noticed that Dad was not with them anymore. They pulled over, thinking that he’d been stuck behind a truck, but after a few minutes Dad reappeared with the cripple on the back of his motorcycle. The man was small, stunted, and deformed. It was hard to even tell his age and he could not speak. They drove for an hour like this, the man clinging to my father’s waist until he finally managed to communicate that they had arrived at his stop and Dad set him back down. There’s no telling how long it would have taken him to walk that distance without the ride. Most people passed him by (Logan noted that he himself had passed the man by), but Dad had stopped and instead of screaming or shuddering, let the man literally hug him as he gave him a ride.
That was the kind of service that changed the world 2,000 years ago.
Logan’s teaching was excellent (I was ridiculously in love with him the whole time) and then we got into small groups. The chairs had been arranged in circles, with dividers separating the groups from each other’s view. We talked about service, about what the world expects from teenagers and what God expects from them, and then we read John 13 about Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.
The youth leaders then washed the feet of their D-group students. Logan was really concerned about this and we spent a lot of time praying about it beforehand, because it really is an awkward thing to have your feet washed. Some of the kids refused. But for me and the three girls with me tonight, it was such an amazing experience. They responded with such humility. And as I washed their feet in the water, keenly aware of the intimacy of the situation, I was filled with such a strong love for those three girls. We’ve been meeting together on a weekly basis to eat and study, but not until that moment did I realize just how much I loved them. It hit me that this was part of the mystery and the purpose of service. We begin to love those we serve.
I thought of my dad, smelling the man’s odor, being face to face with the gruesomeness of his deformity, hearing his incoherent grunts. But I bet that there was no one on the planet who loved that man more than my dad did at that moment.
Christ wanted us to be known by our love. And so he told us to serve.