Kenosis - a theological term that means self-emptying. Used as a description of how love does not seek its own interests but gives itself in the service of others.
Laura's Tea Room yesterday morning. (Read more about it here. And see the notice below - but note it is now Sunday it is closed, not Tuesday). An oasis of peace and refreshment in a busy life - best coffee for miles, home baking consistently excellent (cherry and coconut scones...mmmmmmm!!!), and customer service always pleasant, attentive, and efficient...and then much more.
Consider. A couple come in and make for the corner table. Both are hearing impaired and neither can speak. Communication is by sign and touch. The young woman who has just served us, goes over and begins a conversation with them, using only her hands - with considerable skill, laughter and patience, and in no time orders are taken. Sheila and I were well impressed, and deeply moved.
Later when leaving we mentioned all this to the young woman (whose name we know), asking if she had trained in sign language. No she said. She learned it for that customer who has now been coming for a year or two. They taught her a few letters of the alphabet, she borrowed their training booklet, and she learned enough from it to be able to greet them and serve them.
See the young folk nowadays.....wonderful! Customer service - never seen anything like it. Kenosis isn't only a theological term people write books about. It's a disposition towards others that can entirely transform their life experience. It involves putting our selves out - in order to welcome the other in.