Towels. More than a wrap after a hot steamy shower. More than a stack of fluffy color coordinated terry cloth to complete the bathroom ensemble. The delight of squirming wet babies scooped from their baths resembling zoo babies in their animal decorated towel hoods to keep them warm. It’s more than a towel we dry off with after our bath. It’s more than just a towel.
When I think of serving, I think of towels. My husband David throws a towel over his shoulder each time he serves me at a sink full of dishes. Maybe his shoulder is a convenient place for towels when dishes are ready to be dried. Maybe it’s my reminder that great leaders are servant leaders; that no task is beneath them.
I could write a book filling the pages of dedication that have earned my husband his stripes for lifetime service to our family. He proudly wears the uniform reserved only for servants, a high position for those willing to answer the call to go low. Laundry, cooking, housework, yard work and car repairs make the short list. My husband delighted in shining patent leather shoes to a sparkle for his little girls before church. Blow drying their hair after baths was “special time” he believed all daddies enjoyed. Neighbors could hear the laughter of “catch” in the backyard between a father and his sons. Little league games stole the base a father’s heart in the summer, yet gave away his heart through date nights and time over coffee with his wife.
Jesus answered the call of servant leadership in John 13:1-17 (NIV) when as Lord, he bowed and washed his disciple’s feet, then dried them with his towel. Though his disciples not understanding, Jesus urged these twelve to also take up their towel and wash another man’s feet. Stating that “16no servant is greater than his master…”, “17that you will be blessed if you do…”
Throughout the decades the pages of our marriage boasts a best seller because one man understood the power of the towel; an attitude of his heart. To lead you must serve. In going low you will go high. To wash another man’s feet you will be blessed. To answer the call you take up your towel.