Servanthood is one of the hardest aspects of the Christian life for me. Not because it is hard to serve people, but because it is near impossible to get anyone to let you do anything for them; so much so that that the very question itself has become cliche and has evolved into small talk. No one expects an answer to it anymore. It’s your duty to “offer” it.
Imagine the predicament one would be in if the other responded with a, “You know what…could you …?” request! Of course it would not fit our schedule…..the one that was actually inflexible to begin with when we first asked. Often times that person could really use the help, but our culture has convinced us of our independence such that we would never ask and one of the reasons being that the one who offers knows his only response will be “thank you,” and not a call to action. So it remains our duty to ask and their duty to deny. A dutiful and shallow exchange.
Maybe this is why people used to “drop by” and visit without calling, something appalling to us now. Maybe we should stop asking and just do what we think helpful. Maybe folks are already doing this and I’m out of the loop….