Monday, February 4, 2008

sock service

I still remember the day I decided to start putting Steve's socks away.

I used to hand him a pile of folded clothes, and he put them in the cupboard. My small domestic nod to feminism. Somehow, putting away his socks felt like giving up the last bastion of my female independence. And perhaps it was.

But one day an older, wiser woman told me that she had recently started putting her husband's rolled socks in his drawer, as a small act of service to help him during a time of heavy responsibility.

Knowing the politics of marriage, she is probably still doing it.

It was C.S.Lewis who taught me that love is not about justice. If we aim for equality in marriage, we will never get equality, but we will get plenty of conflict. Better for each of us to serve the other, in humility and grace; and if there are times I am not served, to go on serving.

And it was Jesus who taught me about the beauty of humble service involving feet. Ruler of the universe, he took the job of the lowest servant:

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John 13:12-17

If it's good enough for my Lord, it's good enough for me.

And if feet, why not socks?

1 comment:

Jess Green said...

I've been through the same change! I used to leave Al's washing in a pile for him to put away cos I didn't want to do everything for him. Now I've realised I can be a lot more helpful by just trying to be helpful rather than doing what I think is fair. Now I put the socks away too:)