service…with a smile

I am in the process of cleaning some files from my computer and ran across a little paragraph I had written approximately two years ago. 

At the time, a student had written a post on a social networking site, and I felt the need to respond.  She posed a question.  She wanted to know how her professors (of which I had been), at her Christian college, smiled through the everyday and was concerned that the “Christian bubble” had taken us captive.  She believed her institution was disconnected from the real world.  What else, other than disconnection, could explain the ability to smile and serve on a daily basis?  Were we aware of those outside of our institution’s walls, the hardships, the atrocities, the tragedies?  She suspected that if we were aware, our response would not be as such.  Did we live a life of oblivion? 

I wanted to respond in many directions…

…that I was fully aware that life wasn’t always rosy even inside the bubble.  That Christ followers are people, and people deal with anger, sadness, happiness, and fear…sometimes, on a daily basis.  One’s location doesn’t affect that. 

…that I don’t smile everyday.  There are days that my heart cries out in sadness, and my smile is replaced by tears.  Life is hard, but God is good.  He is faithful to a damaged heart.  Some days I am quick to anger, but God continues to remind me that it should not be directed at those I love.  Anger should be reserved for injustice, oppression, and exploitation.

But, I did my best to boil it down.  This was my response:

I, like every faculty member I come in daily contact with, am active in my community.  But I do not serve under the title of professor, but as Deanne, follower of Christ.  My smile is not from a bubble world or oblivion.  I experience the world every day, as every wife, parent, adult does.  My smile comes from a love that I cannot for the life of me comprehend; a love that I do not deserve but has been given to me unconditionally.  That is why I serve and that is why I smile.

Today, I would like to add this:

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another withour grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.  Amen.”

I Peter 4:8-11

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