At the heart of every Christian lives a call to action.
This call is often inconvenient. It typically costs and doesn’t
always come easy, even as one who calls themselves an image
bearer of Christ.
words + photographs Kelly Flora
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines serve as “to be a servant.” To be a servant is defined as “one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer.”
Service starts at home and bleeds into our workplaces, friendships and other circles. Serving, even those we love, can be hard. Serving takes the eyes, ears and thoughts off ourselves and places them onto someone else. I think about a first-time mom, a moment in time where she may first really understand the idea of selflessness. She’s running on no sleep, possibly trying to recover from giving birth or a surgery, working to care for her own body that has been operating in overdrive for roughly nine months. All the while her focus, her dedication, her service is to that new baby. She chose to sacrifice might cost her in order to benefit someone else.
She took the battle she was in and chose to serve through it.
>> Teresa Flora <<
I think about how my own mother-in-law, Teresa, who has affectionately been known as an “African Missionary” and “Preacher’s Wife,” get suddenly thrown into roles she didn’t ask for. She became a full-time caregiver, nurse and advocate to my father-in-law as he battled liver cancer.
For more than seven months, her normal was hospital rooms, ambulance rides, doctor reports, living out of a suitcase and sleepless nights. She took the battle she was in and chose to serve through it. She chose to sacrifice what might cost her in order to benefit someone else.
>> Jason Flora <<
My husband, Jason, has been in law enforcement for more than 10 years. I’ll admit this wasn’t my first choice for him as a young wife several years ago. I was very reluctant to the idea until I felt God speak words of encouragement over my heart. Jason wasn’t mine. He wasn’t mine to protect, shield or control. He was created by God for a purpose and this profession was calling his name. Jason never has a shortage of police stories to talk about. These are the action-packed, true crime stories most people often ask about. My favorite retellings are more simple, much quieter and have a lot less action. I guarantee you, though, the effects of them are still being felt today. He has changed tires, comforted crying babies, invited men to church, encouraged the lady who just received bad test results and has ministered to young teens headed down wrong paths. He’s been late to family dinners, missed holidays with our boys and worked a lot of crazy hours to provide for us. This is often the case with many law enforcement families. Choosing a career in this field is literally signing up to serve those around you every day. They choose to sacrifice what might cost them in order to benefit someone else.
As a law enforcement officer, Jason Flora’s job is a continuous, action-packed reel of stories. Kelly, though, prefers the quieter, friendlier how-was-your-day responses her husband gives.
>> Jesus <<
Loving others often looks like serving, and serving often requires sacrifice. When we do our part to serve where we are, we are able to offer a picture of Christ to the world.
Matthew 20:28 says the “Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” Sacrificing what might cost you, to benefit someone else, is as my former pastor used to say, “being Jesus with skin on.” KF