On a recent Tuesday afternoon, I stopped by the nursing home to visit a woman whom I hadn’t seen in a while. I’ll confess that I haven’t been visiting her very often, because she doesn’t seem to ever know who I am.
That Tuesday, though, she saw me and lit up. “Hello, hello,” she said. I sat down, surprised at this warm greeting. “Maybe things are better,” I thought, “maybe she is remembering who I am.”
No. As soon as she continued speaking, it became clear that she thought I was her mother.
What was I doing there? Wasn’t there some other place I could be? Wasn’t there something else I could be doing, instead of chatting with a woman who appeared quite convinced I was her dead mother?
But then I stopped my silent whining, when I remembered that ministry—and motherhood, marriage, friendship, and all of the roles I play in life—aren’t first and foremost about me. Or at least they’re not supposed to be first and foremost about me, though it’s my habit to get it wrong and make everything about me. It’s everyone’s habit to get it wrong. First and foremost, love and–all the ways we express it–are supposed to be about God.
That sweet lady thought I was her mother, but, you know what? She was really glad to see her mom. It made her day to see her mom. So, if that’s why God sent me, then so be it. It’s not about me. Thank God, that it never was about me.