Do Whatever He Tells You

The five little words are printed on a card that leans against my computer monitor. We’re in our busiest season here at work, fielding call after call with mere seconds between, and this is the best way I can think of to get a good word into my day. My eyes rest on it in those tiny moments with nothing to do, and I try to burn it into my brain, let it remake my heart.

There are twelve cards in the series I printed out, twelve bite-sized bits of Scripture from the Gospel of John. Some of the early ones feature lofty language for a tiny piece of paper, talking about the Word that was God in the beginning, full of grace and truth. And then there’s today’s little offering: “Do whatever he tells you.”

That’s weird, I thought when I first flipped it over. Seems like such a mundane, everyday quote when stacked against the gorgeous language of John’s high theology. Just something Mary said when she and her son were at a wedding. “Do whatever he tells you,” she said to the servants who had just run out of wine to pour. Why memorize that line? Why not the actual facts of Jesus’s miracle, the glorious aftermath?

Still, my eyes kept returning to it throughout the day, my mind turning it over like a river spinning a rock. Do whatever he tells you. I like to think she said it with a smile, like, Come on in, the water’s fine. This woman hardly hesitated at the thought of having God’s baby. I mean, really, after that, what wouldn’t you say yes to?

It starts to dawn on me slowly, this meaning I’ve always missed before. Those nameless servants who listen to her simple words get to participate in a miracle. The very first, in fact. They didn’t know Jesus was special yet. They didn’t know Mary knew anything about anything. But they listened to her. They did what he said, and they ended up in the middle of a miracle.

They start to thrill me, these five words. They start to leap off the page. I answer the phone with a joy that goes beyond forced customer service cheer. I wonder what he’ll tell me to do today. I wonder at what moment I can take that plunge.

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