Today I was all psyched up to finally be serving the needy.  I was excited to learn as we looked at the pictures of the Tanzanian children (and excited to remind my own children that they should be thankful I have never asked them to filter their drinking water out of a mud hole or had them carry one of their siblings around on their backs while they hunted for food with a homemade bow and arrow.  Just sayin.’). I was excited to be doing something as a family to help others in Jesus’ name (because Lord knows I would not have dragged my sorry, tired butt out of bed early on a Saturday morning just because I’m a nice person). I was moved to tears by the video of a 2 year old boy who weighed just 12 pounds before Simple Hope was able to provide him healthy food and clean water.  I was ready to work!  I was ready to serve!  I was ready to do whatever necessary… Wait a minute.  I have to wear what? 

That’s right, we had to wear a hairnet to assemble the food packs. The plastic gloves I could do but a hairnet?  I know this sounds petty and it is, but I have a vanity problem (I also look like a 12 year old Asian boy whenever I wear anything on my head).  A hairnet?  How about if I just hold my head really still and not over the food?  But thankfully good old metacognition kicked in and thru a simple ugly and awful hairnet, I was able to learn a few things this morning.
As I was watching the video of those serving in Tanzania I thought about the way I reacted when that cockroach was in our hotel room in New York in January (see “Cockroaches Are Gross” blog on 1/16/14 for all the gory details). I thought about how I take my feather pillow everywhere because my neck hurts if I sleep on any other pillow.  I realized while trying to figure out how to avoid wearing that hairnet that serving seems great, glamorous and appealing until I have to sweat, mess up my hair or sleep on a cot with or without bugs.  I realized I have been subconsciously (there’s that word again), in the few times I have actually served those in need, choosing to serve only when it is tidy and convenient.  I will serve when it is fast, clean and when I can accessorize how I want to, thank you very much. 
“Dear God, It is a little embarrassing to be worried about how I look in a hairnet right after I tell my kids that they shouldn’t complain about their bedrooms because some people sleep on the ground in thatch tents.  Help me to want to be obedient in whatever you call me to and help me have the kind of heart that wants to serve you and the people you love, no matter the cost.  That is a scary prayer if I say it and really mean it, but I also know and trust how you work.  Thank you that you call us out to serve in a capacity we can handle and then stretch us a little more each time. Thank you that when you do take me out of my comfort zone, you always somehow remove the dread, fear and concerns I have and help me put things in perspective (although that is often a process of awareness, not a one-time epiphany). Thank you in helping me survive wearing that hairnet you reminded me that you really do equip the called so I shouldn’t sit around waiting and thinking that you call the equipped.  Please bless those precious Africans who will receive that food and thank you for all they gave and taught me today.  In Your Name. Amen.”