My name is Miriam. I am a lowly servant girl. I had served this group of men before. When one of them needed something, he merely called, “Girl!” and I fetched what he wished. They didn’t call me by name, nor did I expect them to, for I am merely a servant girl. I perform menial tasks: washing the guests’ feet, carrying the platters of dried dates and apricots, bringing them bowls of nuts, and keeping the cups filled with good wine.
The leader of this group stood out. From the very first time I served him, he called me by name. “Thank you, Miriam,” he said as I placed a fresh loaf of warm bread on the table. I have to admit, this startled me at first. I wondered how He even knew my name and why He would thank me for doing my job. After that, I listened to His words as he spoke to His disciples. Clearly, He spoke with authority and knew the ancient scriptures. Fascinated, I listened to His words while carrying food for the table. His words provided nourishment for my soul.
On this day, this “last supper,” the man Jesus waved me away when I brought out the basin and fresh towels to wash the men’s feet. When I hesitated, he quietly said, “We won’t need this today, Miriam, thank you.” It felt strange not to wash their feet, but what else was a servant girl to do? I placed the towels on the floor next to the basin and went to get the first platter of food.
After I’d served for some time and the men appeared satisfied with their food, the leader, Jesus, did the strangest thing. He got up from the table, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped one of the towels around his waist. He poured water into the basin and began washing his disciples’ feet. I was horrified! This was my job, the job of a lowly servant, not the job for a leader of men! When he saw me move toward Him, he looked up and caught my eye. One glance was all it took to reassure me: all was well. I stood silently and watched Him wash his disciples’ feet.
One of the men loudly protested, and almost didn’t allow Jesus to wash his feet. But Jesus taught him and the others; he explained that “no servant is greater than his master.” He told them he was setting an example for them, that they too should be willing to serve others and not be concerned about their own greatness. I listened carefully to every word.
Because of him, I now view myself differently. I’m still a humble servant, but I realize I have value in the eyes of Jesus and am proud to call myself Miriam, faithful servant.