I have a bookmark that I keep in one of my devotionals that reads, "I am among you as one who serves. Jesus."
That simple note is a constant reminder to me that I too am to be a servant. As one of Jesus' disciples I am to follow His example.
As a husband, a father, a grandfather, a pastor, and a friend, I am among you as one who serves.
Every day, if we leave our homes and go out into the community, we are surrounded by people who serve us.
For years the motto of many American police forces was "to protect and to serve." And most of the dedicated men and women who work in law enforcement consider themselves to be "public servants."
We are served by men and women in grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and the many businesses that we frequent.
We have all been served by those amazing people throughout our young lives who have taught us to read, to write, to work with math problems, to dissect a frog, and to excel in life. They train us to sit quietly for long periods of time, to stand in lines, and to wait our turns. They train us for the rigors of life. We call them teachers.
We have pastors at the churches that we attend that adhere to the example of Jesus, men and women who are among us as ones who serve. We call on them for prayer and guidance. They teach us from the Word of God and by their example. They are there to perform baptisms, to perform weddings and funerals, and to pray for us, to comfort us, and to encourage us.
Yes, we are surrounded by servants.
But, the greatest example of a servant I have known in my life was a lovely lady by the name of Alpha Margaret Tangen Dezotell Scott. She was my mom.
She went to be with the Lord just a few days after her 95th birthday in 2010.
She gave me birth.
She endured a long nine month pregnancy as she carried me right under her heart. And on March 6, 1954 she endured a long and painful labor (back in the days before the widespread use of epidurals) and gave birth to a 9 pound, 3.5 ounce bundle of boy called Douglas Michael Dezotell.
She was there through my many stays in the hospital as a young child with my many illnesses, my lung disease and skin disease. She sat by my side, prayed by my side, and cried by my side.
She was the first comforter I ever knew; and Mom was there for me through the ups and downs of my life.
There was no greater servant in my life than Mom.
I think most of us have wonderful memories of our mothers. Some of us were raised by someone other than our birth mothers, but there is that special someone you consider Mom, or Momma, Ma, Mommy, or Mother. There is that special someone you hold in your heart like no other.
My mom was that one who said to her family by her example, "I am among you as one who serves."
She was the first person who showed me the love of God, and she did that through her motherly love and godly example.
I honor all mothers today.
Your loving example helps us through the rough pathway called life. You have been among us as one who serves.
Happy Mother's Day!
Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org