A Servant's Heart

Mary Ann Stephens

One of my first memories was sitting next to my mother in bed. She was often not well but I loved crawling into the bed to spend time with her. I would hold the big family Bible that was so very heavy on my lap. I loved looking at the pictures. When I was very young, I would ask her to turn to the next picture because they were scattered throughout. As a small child does, I would not give her a chance to explain anything.

As I grew older, we continued the same routine, but she began telling me the Bible stories as we looked at the pictures. Later on she would ask me what the picture was about. I often would need a little help, but soon I recognized each picture and knew the Bible story.

My mother became a Christian later in life and she was “all in.” She had a “prayer pillow” that she would put beside her bed each day to pray for those on her prayer list. She made sure that I was in church each Sunday and that I was participating in all activities that were age appropriate for me.

Although she was not always in good health, she wanted to serve any way she could to show Christ’s love. She found her place serving in the church nursery, rocking babies each Sunday so young mothers could attend worship.

My mother was an awesome cook and had a heart for those who might be homeless or hungry. She not only made sure there was enough food for her family, but also cooked enough for anyone that might stop by the house for a hot meal. It got to the point where people would smell the aroma of dinner outside of our home and know that they were welcome to come by. She would greet them at the door and happily show them the face of Jesus in the form of a home cooked meal.

No matter how my mother’s health fluctuated between good days and bad, she was always willing to give of herself for the cause of Christ, whom she loved with all of her heart. As I watched her serve and give herself daily, I was taught that no matter what life may throw your way, God will always use those who are willing to give of themselves for others.

“35 ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in;  40 The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” Matthew 25:35 & 40.

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