About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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    • Good morning, Pearl. (Can I just say how much I LOVE your name? I always thought Pearl was a beautiful name for a baby, but we decided against it. Pearl Lee sounded like Pearly. 🙂 I digress.)

      The moment occurred several years ago — maybe 2013? — but it still brings me to tears as well and is such a poignant picture of servanthood.

      Love, Jennifer

  1. Reading with so much appreciation and thinking about the unseen servants who cleaned the church where I will worship this morning, who grew and arranged the bouquet of flowers and left it quietly at the front of the sanctuary, who photocopied the bulletin, who offered a ride to a friend with no transportation — so many servants.
    Thanks, Jennifer, for these beautiful words that will enhance my Sunday morning worship.

  2. Jennifer,
    Oh how humbling to have someone clear a way for you. It reminds me of how the crowd laid palm branches in the path of Jesus. She was treating you with the love and honor that one would show the Lord. I am convicted about how many times do I treat others the way that I would treat Jesus. Am I in too big of a hurry to lend a helping hand, offer a listening ear, put arms around a hurting heart? Thank you for this beautiful, real life story that will remind me that I need to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others because in doing so I share His love. Wonderful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xo

    • Good morning, my sweet friend.

      It was such a humbling moment, and reminds me to stoop down and serve, even if causes me discomfort. Have a wonderful Sunday.

      Love,
      Jennifer

  3. What a beautiful and humbling story and a powerful reminder that there/we is/are always enough through Christ. Additionally it shows God’s care of you when you followed his calling to go preach the gospel. Thank you.

    • Oh Kirsten! You are so write! It does shows God’s care of us when we do His work. I love what you “saw” in this post. How moving, and reassuring for anyone who choose to do uncomfortable things to serve His children!

      Love,
      Jennifer

  4. What a beautiful portrayal of the heart of a servant. Your story leaves me speechless. What a privilege we have to be the hands and feet of Jesus. This reminds me also of Edgar Guest’s lovely poem, I’d Rather See a Sermon Than Hear One .. well worth reading if you have a moment. Thank you , Jennifer. Your beautiful feet have brought words of truth, light, conviction and grace to me on many occasions. Always a joy to see what you have to share with us, Sister.

  5. This story touched me in a very special way, as I too have a story about giving my shoes away. Mine was in Mexico, and given so a girl could attend school.
    But more than that it helped me to remember that God sees our hearts, and He has has called us to the place we are right now, wherever that may be.
    Thank you so much for this! What a blessing!

  6. My 87-year-old neighbor who called me every day after my husband died even though she had her 50-year-old Down syndrome daughter with dementia to care for. She invited me for dinner most nights. She is such an inspiration and so wise!!

  7. Jennifer,

    Such a picturesque image of servant hood. I think of all the caregivers out there assisting the elderly. They have a tough job & yet daily they go to work with smiles on their faces. I have witnessed the compassion they have for our elderly. My dad was in an assisted living in Memory Care. Those workers always had smiles on their faces & love in their hearts. I’ve seen them reminisce with residents & even cry with them. They are there for them when family can’t always be. God bless the Assisted Living & Nursing Home workers!! I also remember myself leaving a good job to care for my aging dad. At times I had to feed him. It was hard, but needed doing. God was gracious to let me know I would be blessed by doing that!

    Blessings 🙂

    • I observed that kind of compassion when my dad was in a care facility for several weeks after his amputation. We were left with such an amazing feeling about the people there.

  8. Even here on a Christian page do we see the female body as object. Why is it that when we use an image of a body or body part it is one of a slender, sexuallized female? Why not the legs and feet of a man? Of an elderly person? Of a bigger person? Etc?

    • Hey there! Thanks for stopping by. We always appreciate feedback from our regular readers and visitors about the content we provider here. Like you, I would identify myself as a Christian Feminist. Yet, I don’t see the photo in the same light that you do. This image to me represents rest and freedom, and is in no way an attempt to sexualize women. That sort of representation would go directly against our aims, vision, and mission.

      (in)courage uses all sorts of images in our posts, and I hope you were able to browse around and enjoy some of our terrific content — both the beautiful graphics and the inspired writing. The aim is to find photos that reflect the Godly messages of the daily devotionals.

      Our writing team consists of women in various stages of life; we are women of different sizes, interests, life phase, race, and more. Our readers are also diverse in many ways. I love when I see (in)courage reflect that diversity in our images AND on our team. I am not a designer, nor do I work in the home office, but as a writer here for many years, I know that the designers for (in)courage attempt to use photos that represent an accurate, diverse picture of God’s beautiful creation and the body of Christ. Often times, the writers themselves will add photos of their own daily life, which I love. (See Becky’s post today for a great example of that.)

      I will agree that we rarely have photos of men. I would assume that this is the primary reason: we are overwhelming a site that serves women. We want women to see themselves in our images.

      I will be passing along your concern to people on our regular, full-time staff. We value your opinion, and are glad you stopped by. The door is open, and we pray that all who pass through are blessed by the Lord.

      Blessings,
      Jennifer Dukes Lee, writer

  9. Jennifer,
    This was such a heartwarming story to begin the day, of how one act of kindness ( your’s) led to another.Thank-you so much for sharing it with us.
    blessings to all,
    Penny

    • What a wonderful post, brought me to tears as well. So wonderful that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus if we can just be sensitive to His spirit. If we all just slow down and let His Spirit lead and guide us we will find many opportunities to minister to this hurting world. Lord help us to see what really matters in this life and use each and every day to glorify you. Thank you for your beautiful post! Blessings.

      Darlene

  10. Jennifer,
    I attended the Global Leadership Summit this past week via simulcast. A speaker stood out to me named Bryan Stevenson. He founded and serves through the Equal Justice Initiative. He is a lawyer and serves the poor, the incarcerated, and often they have been grossly denied their constitutional rights. His stories were so moving, and what stood out was his examples of “Being in Proximity” those who he was serves and represents. His stories didn’t always have a happy ending, and the love of Christ showed through. Serving in the uncomfortable, in their proximity, will cause us to be with those and love those in their pain, and it will cost us something. This experience you shared with us fleshes out this thought that just keeps going over in my head. I read this with tears of Jesus’ goodness, and we have the opportunity to be those in proximity, just as you did. But, then the surprise of being served. Such a beautiful grace. Blessings.

    • Oh Joanne! I am so glad you got to watch the Global Leadership Summit via simulcast. I had some friends do the same, and some friends who were in attendance. One of my friends texted last night and mentioned Mr. Stevenson’s remarks about “Being in Proximity.” Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a great week, serving and loving those right where you are — right in your proximity.

      Love, Jennifer

  11. This is absolutely beautiful and just broke my heart — while also encouraging it with the beautiful hope of Christ. Thank you for being one of those who takes the time to clear sharp stones and thorns, helping others to walk easier and making a more beautiful path to Christ.

  12. This is a beautiful story, I ‘m sharing it on Facebook. There are moments of His love that don’t need words, and I write enough to know the power of them, seeing love in action is worth thousands. Jesus goes ahead of us as well, it is a beautiful thing to remember when are walking a tough road.

  13. Thank you, Jennifer. God’s using this in powerful ways today. I’m moved to tears as I think of how God’s using me to walk beside my daughter in a very deeply broken place in her life. Thank you for this reminder to bring the Good News as we go together. So thankful we have Good News in dark places. My heart needed this so much.

  14. Oh to have the hands and feet that reflect the heart of Jesus! Thank you Jennifer.

    After some “realignment” this morning with my husband I brought up the fact that we don’t seem to “see” the ways we love each other but we DO see the other loving those around us. Comparing what we see generously given to others to the lack of love we feel given from our spouse we each fall into despair.

    Truthfully, I find it so easy, unconscious even, to show love to people a few clicks away from the inner circle of family. The closer I get to that inner circle the more I have to focus on acceptance and forgiveness. But the closer I get the more painful the hurts become and the more difficult it becomes to accept that person as they are, warts and all. I promised to love my husband in spite of finances, health, appearances and I have to include, because it was implied, even more awareness of his faults. But HOW?!

    Oh, this paraphrased verse just popped into my mind, “What gain is there in loving the lovable?” What is God doing inside of me? Your book Love Idol, I could say I am eating it. It is that helpful to me! May I start an AAA chapter down here in the Dallas area?

    Thank you for writing about yourself and sharing yourself with us! Gratefully

  15. Jennifer – I have tears welling up in my eyes, and I can barely read the entire post. What a beautiful example of servanthood in both you and the woman who walked before you. It brings back memories of my time in the Dominican Republic where at first I thought I was the servant – the helper. I later found out what I had to offer was so small compared to what I received. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It not only touched my heart but spoke deeply and clearly as to where I can be a servant in the months that are ahead of me.

  16. What a powerful example of selfless servanthood that precious woman set, clearing the path for you. Little did she know the impact she would have on you, those who have heard you tell this story, and now those who read this blog post. The total must surely be in the thousands by now. I have a feeling her act will not be quickly forgotten by any of us. Thank you, Jennifer, for showing us so graphically that “we don’t need a lot of money, influence, power, or status to preach the good news. All we need is a willingness to walk the path with other people.” AMEN! Lord, keep me attuned to your Spirit so I will be ready to clear stones, wipe tears, listen to stories, and more.

  17. What came to mind as I read this is a picture of my Heavenly Father.
    My feet on the daily may not know which is the harmless road to walk on, often unaware of the dangers that lay ahead.

    But my Father, because of the great love that He has for me, and also because He has made a promise to watch over my steps and make sure that I do not fall into ruin, He always walks ahead of me. With His own, toughened feet, He kicks aside sticks and rocks. He leans over on the daily and picks up thorns with His own fingers. He stays several steps ahead of me, clearing a path for me. Isn’t it beautiful How God watches over us all the time?