Things My Mom Harped On: Enduring & Serving

Like Christ, moms can focus on holy habits, sacred friendships, but there are moments in each of our lives where we find things get challenging—and we see the two closely related tools that are critical to spiritual growth…you aren’t going to like them, and you probably didn’t like it when…


Your Mom Harped on Enduring and Serving Others—you know what I am talking about? When your mom pushes you to finish playing the sport you started and wanted to quit, or to stay out in the snow and finish shoveling the drive for the lady down the street after you told her you’d do the job. Embracing pain is one of those strange paradoxical statements in life, where so many people spend the majority of their energy avoiding it, consider Jesus Christ as Hebrews 12:3 describes: “3 (Consider him who)endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Intricately tied together are the idea of enduring pain and serving others. Oftentimes, one comes at the currency of the other. Serving others can be painful. Jesus ties these elements together beautifully in his own life incarnate. When we think of Christ serving you probably instantly thing of famous episodes from John 13—Jesus washing the disciples feet, Mark 10:45-His declaration that he came to serve and not to be served, maybe even Philippians 2 where Jesus humility is described!)

Timothy Keller recounted the story of author Dorothy Sayers who was a well-known British novelist who wrote about a dozen mystery novels between World War I and World War II. She was one of the first women to be granted a degree from Oxford. Her novels were usually murder mysteries staring an amateur sleuth named Peter Wimsey. To make a long story short the character Wimsey was a well-intentioned but eccentric fellow who fell into these crimes and plots and somehow managed to solve the cases laid out in the novel. Dorothy Sayers gave a great deal of development to his character in the novels and he became the “star” of the books. His life wasn’t always easy and he wasn’t always easy to get along with himself. He was an endearing but flawed person

At some point Sayers also introduced into the novels a character named Harriet Vane. Interestingly, she was depicted as a British mystery writer, educated at Oxford (just like the author who wrote her into the story!). She had an on again and off again relationship with Wimsey through several books. She thinks him rather strange at first and declines his repeated invitations to marry. Finally in one of the later novels at the very end she accepts Wimsey’s proposal. Subsequent novels reveal a blissful honeymoon (Interrupted by another murder mystery) and a long season of domestic bliss. Wimsey’s troubled life was rescued by his marriage to Harriet Vane.

Dorothy Sayers fell in love with her own character and then wrote herself into the story in order to rescue Peter Wimsey. It is what Jesus does for us, putting himself into our story, but he went further, beyond just a story, and allowed his sacrifice to stand in place of our sins and then he sets us free to write our lives into others stories. It is the paradox that changes us—it is serving in a 3rd world country that makes our abundance more clear, it is when you grieve with the hurting, that you can find healing, it is when you love despite your feelings that you find love in return.

Remember, all those moments when your mother invested in you, pushed you, cared for you, loved you when no one else would…She did it so you would be changed, molded, cared for, and as we look forward in life—we have the chance not only to be changed by God’s grace and our mother’s love, but have the chance to be change agents—as we draw into God’s presence. Isn’t it about time that we listen to our mom’s harping and share God’s hope with the world?

***SHARE***Tell me how your mom, grandmother, etc. helped shape your faith! I’d love to hear your stories.



3 thoughts on “Things My Mom Harped On: Enduring & Serving”

  1. My mama most definitely has the gift of hospitality. She taught me to help others no matter what. People would often come to the pastorium (yeah back when those were a thing) and ask for help. We’d say, but mama, we don’t think they really need money for food..My mama always replied with, “I’d rather help someone who doesn’t need it than turn away someone who does”. It’s something my husband and I live by to this day. She taught us the importance of leading in church and community..of being examples and of following Abba-doing the right thing even when no one else does. She’s a trooper too..With her own health issues and fixing to be 78 she still cares for others. She’s a true servant.

    1. Thank you for sharing about your mama. What a great picture of Christ-like love. I so appreciate her attitude of “I’d rather help someone who doesn’t need it than turn away someone who does.” Sometimes moderation becomes too much apart of our mindset. We don’t want to enable, get burnt, or be taken advantage of and we end up not loving, serving, or giving at all. Agape love has no moderation. Prayer for your mother’s health and for many more years of godly service.

      1. Thank you for your prayers. Yes my mama set a great example and what’s cool is it is still being passed down. You are right, agape love has no moderation.

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