I Should Have Known


This morning we sat under the crowded big top, joining with hundreds of our Slovak and American friends in the concluding service of celebration of the dizzying 20th birth year of the Center for Christian Education in Martin, Slovakia. The bishop delivered his lengthy sermon in what was likely flawless Slovak but, try as I might, I could not flip my duct-taped-together Slovak dictionary fast enough to understand him.

Then I felt a soft tap on my shoulder followed by a polite voice that whispered from the row behind, “Could I help you?” For the next 25 minutes this kind stranger listened, then succinctly summarized and translated the speaker’s thoughts in small, manageable portions.

At the end of the service I turned to ask the young man his name and to thank him for his kindness. But I will not ever be able to tell you his name for, although he had a name tag on his shirt, in the place I expected to see his name, was one simple Slovak word, “Sluzka”. Its meaning? “Servant.”
I should have known.

Brenda Fast
Serving Slovakia 2018