What would you do for Jesus?
That's the question that Rachel Olsen asks during the first two chapters of It's No Secret, the newest online Bible study book being led by Melissa Taylor.
She reminds us of the story of the woman with the expensive perfume who poured it out on Jesus' feet and then dried them with her hair. Though criticized for using a product worth several years' salary, she was happy to give it as an act of love and service to her Lord - and He understood her purpose for what it was: an act of worship.
What am I willing to sacrifice? To give up?
That's a tough question.
He's not over at the corner bakery, waiting for me to show up with my own bottle of Angels, discussing His need for a fragrant foot massage with the pastry chef.
The answers aren't always that easy in our society today.
Yet He says that "When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me! (Matt. 25:30, NLT)"
There are lots of 'leasts' out there that we can serve, right? Oh, maybe they don't really need Vicky's perfume poured on their toes, but there are still orphans, widows, and starving children out there. Maybe more of us should answer His radical call to obedience with children from Africa and taking in lonely in-laws.
Maybe sometimes He wants us to.
But maybe sometimes He doesn't ask us to go there - at least all at once. Maybe sometimes He just wants us to take a cold glass of water to the neighbor who's outside doing yardwork in the hot sun. Maybe He wants us to take a meal to that new mom down the street or donate our children's outgrown clothing to the local shelter.
Maybe sometimes it's shutting down our natural tendency to yell at the child who painted the formerly-white wall green and help them learn responsibility be washing it with him, instead.
Maybe sometimes it's reaching out with extra words to the child who needs praise or apologizing to that sandpaper person who scraped your last nerve today, even though you'd rather eat sandpaper than go back and talk to her again.
Spring is always a busy time for us, between birthdays for both kids, retreats, outdoor allergies, consignment sales, church events, flu season, school field trips, and the like, but this year I seem to be noticing fewer of the needs around me than ever. And honestly, that pretty much works for me. It's hard for me to reach out when there have been so many crazy responses to what I've tried in the past. I'm pretty happy being a hermit with my kids in my house. So maybe right now, my form of radical obedience is to listen harder with my heart - to listen closely for those whispers of ways that I can honor Him by helping those around me - so that when the day comes and I'm called to choose between the easy thing and the hard, doesn't make logical sense thing, I'm ready.
With reckless abandon? I think I should throw myself into whatever task He gives me with reckless abandon, whether it seems big or small. I want to receive a "Well done!" on the current assignment. Who knows what the next one will be?