Others are everything. Others are those I have the privilege of caring for and being their mentor and 

teacher. Others are those I have yet to meet and those that can hurt me. Loving and living with others 

requires risk. Risk of losing them and being vulnerable before them. 

    Others are the face of God to me, and I can honor God directly by serving them. Others are the

living beings I am called to love, pray 

for, and wash their feet – without any 

expectation whatsoever. 

    As I see others, God sees me. As I 

judge God, the rules and grievances 

against them are the ones God uses 

toward me. This is what Meister 

Eckhardt meant by his aphorism. It is 

also what Jesus taught and implicit in the 

commandments. Additionally, it 

is fundamental to Benedictine life and a 

life of service. 


    Despite the innumerable times that people fall short in our estimation, they do often not because they 

have failed us; rather, we believe they failed our expectations. This causes suffering and is not what our 

story as humans should be. 

    The story of service is one of love. I have never thought of service as a story, but I appreciate how 

language unveils the heart’s intentions toward others. Words are the primal revelation of our deepest 

sentiments (and sentimentalities). 


    Language is a heuristic – in this case, we can approximate others to solicit what they need, feel, endure, 

want, aspire to, and dream. But we will never know the entire “truth” of anyone else’s story in the fullest 

sense. Service, like language, allows for intimacy, empathy, altruism, and putting the last – first.

    Ultimately, true service is done in silence without expecting to know the story. Language cannot reveal 

the precise nature of the feelings each subjectively endures and experiences. When we tell a friend 

noticing our story isn’t making the same impact on them as the actual event did to us, “you needed to be 

there…”, the truth extends far beyond – in silence. 


    Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand does. Truth is in silence. We serve because, in 

silence, we see God Be, Do, and Is. So may we aspire to be, do, and live into the same. 


Pastor Daniel


Popular Posts