The Servant of the Servant
Two words in the human language which can either make or break you are sympathy and empathy. Sympathy means to offer caring and feelings of compassion for another who is going through something difficult. Empathy means to actually understand what that person is feeling and to be able to put yourself in their shoes and feel with them, not just for them.
It is a great gift to be able to empathize with another being, both human and non-human. As our lives unfold on the earth, we are called upon daily to make decisions which affect others. If we can empathize with the receivers of our decisions, we can make the best choices possible. But things sometimes get in the way.
Lent is about sacrifice and giving up, just as Jesus gave up his physical life for us so that we could receive the gift of eternal salvation, and life in a heavenly realm filled with peace and love. In order for us to achieve that goal, we must climb over our own ego, our own desire for recognition and reward, in order to save our neighbour and those around us.
Ego is a dangerous thing. Many religions preach that the way to heaven is to be the ‘servant of the servant’. In other words, to care for the person who is caring for those in need. Or to care for those who are offering salvation to others.
Just for today, stop and take a look at your life. What are you doing for those who are walking the path of Jesus? Who around you is following a spiritual life who needs support and assistance? Are you doing something to help them? Or are you following that path yourself? If so, and someone is being kind and supportive of you, when was the last time you expressed your gratitude to them?
Release your ego to the wind. Release your desire for recognition. Put your ego aside and offer assistance to those who care for others. Give of yourself. Be the servant of the servant.