When I was in college I worked at a Christian summer camp called Kanakuk for a couple of summers. My first summer at camp, Joe White, the owner of the camp, was reading the book, “Improving Your Serve” with all of the guys who were counselors. The book had nothing to do with tennis. It was all about how to become a better servant. It was a great book, but it became a book I’d never forget during one afternoon in the kitchen at Kanakuk.
All of the counselors had to take a turn in the kitchen at various times during the term. I was assigned the job of washing dishes. Nobody wanted to wash dishes! Please, please any job but washing dishes! It was my destiny…I was born to be a dishwasher.
When I reported to the huge sink after lunch Joe White was there to welcome me to the team. The pile of dishes seemed as tall as the Ozarks and the “suds” team consisted of Joe and me. We washed and talked, talked and scrubbed, and then the conversation turned to the book we were reading each day. After talking about the book for a few minutes Joe said, “Hays. Do you know how to tell if you are really a servant or not?” I said, “I don’t know.” Joe turned with a smile on his face, handed me a dirty plate, and said, “How you respond when you are treated like one.” And we washed.
Truth is I had a good time washing dishes. Joe made it fun. It also donned on me that I was washing dishes with the guy who owned the camp! He wasn’t sitting back in a plush office or barking out orders to us hired hands. Joe was wearing rubber gloves just like me. Joe was a servant showing me how to serve with a servant’s heart.
It’s a story I’ll never forget, but I know an even greater story. Jesus owns more than a camp. He’s the Creator of everything that ever was, everything that is, and will ever be. He didn’t put on gloves. He put on humanity. He became one of us. He served us by taking our sin to the cross we deserved. Mark says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” What a Savior!!