Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A Servant's Heart

Have you ever known anyone who is a natural care-giver? A person who, despite his or her own ailments and troubles, is always willing to help another, at the drop of a hat?  

I know two of them in particular, and others who are very much that way, if not 100% of the time. I really admire those who have a genetic predisposition toward care-giving. I was "behind the door" when that was given out, apparently. I am helpful - to a point - and I  will do most anything for my family and friends,  but I don't have the heart for serving, like some do. I wish I did.

You realize I am speaking of those who serve without expectation of anything in return, don't you? Some people help others with the (perhaps unspoken) demand for loyalty or repayment or laudation. The book our book club just read (And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hossieni) speaks to that point on Page 313:  "This is what rankles, what pollutes Mama's kindness, her rescues and her acts of courage. The indebtedness that shadows them. The demands, the obligations she saddles you with. The way she uses these acts as currency, with which she barters for loyalty and allegiance......The rope that pulls you from the flood can become a noose around your neck."

I have known two people who acted in that manner; one with financial gifts destined to link the giver to the giftee for life  (and guarantee obedience), and the other who gave or withheld her love based on what the person receiving it did and said. I would hope that when I do practice acts of servanthood, I am doing so with no strings attached, otherwise they are tainted.

What brought this on? I was recently in the company (for a week) of a woman who seems to be one of the true care-givers of the world;  one who does not act to receive approval, but unselfishly helps everyone around her, despite her aches and pains.  I would like to thank her publicly, but I fear she would not want that - so I am doing it this way -  Linda, you have a servant's heart......we are fortunate to have met you. Thanks for all your help and concern.


Granny Annie said...

I have stayed the night with people whow have such hearts. My brother and SIL are preparing to move a friend into their home who is dying of cancer and will live out her life here with their care and hospice. I cannot imagine doing such a thing.

Miss Dazey said...

I not only was behind the door, I fled out the door when caregiver traits were given out.

tiff said...

'Giving' with the expectation of getting back is wrong. If you can't afford to give, then call it a 'kindness loan' or something!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I too, am aware of both kinds of giving.....the kind where something is expected back or there is some "price" to pay, and the other, truly selfless open heart kind of giving where nothing is expected and there is no 'price to pay'. I feel like the second category are Saints, in the truest sense. That kind of loving kindness is rare, isn't it? I'm happy that you have been lucky enough to have such a big hearted person in your life.

Arkansas Patti said...

Once after a flood, I received tremendous, unasked for help from a group of Mennonites.
"There is no need for thanks," they said,"This is just what people do." Well sadly,not all people, I thought.
Wow, like you, I wish I were more like that.

LL Cool Joe said...

I have a friend who is gentle and giving and expects nothing in return. People like her are rare. This is a nice tribute to your friend