Why Did You Make My Bed?
The circle of service

My roommate and I returned to our dorm after a long day of fun, student-wide activities. It was late in the evening, and my roommate commented, “Oh, it’s going to be a late night for me, I have several things I have left to do for school tomorrow.” I felt a little sympathy for her, but I was tired and the only thing on my agenda was get into bed as soon as possible.

Sadly for her, she had not yet had the chance to finish her laundry. Her clean sheets were piled at the foot of her bed, and her comforter was still in the dryer. As I was in the midst of preparing to accomplish my task, she gave me a sad, exhausted look and asked: “Can you make my bed for me?”

My knee-jerk reaction was, “No, of course not!” I didn’t say it in a super serious way, but tried to joke my way out of doing something that would distract me from my present task. She responded with an “OK,” and continued sitting on her unmade bed as she finished her schoolwork.

I proceeded to wash my dirty mugs, get my things out for the next day, and wrap my mind around the coming week of classes. All the while, my roommate’s plea for me to simply make her bed came to mind.

I thought of all the times that she had made my bed without me even asking. I had often come back from my morning exercise to a perfectly clean, crisply made bed. (Trust me, she can make a bed look like you just walked into a five-star hotel room. I focus on speed and efficiency in my bed-making.)

I imagined how she must feel: to have more homework after such a busy day and then still need to make her bed. No one likes the thought of having to make his or her bed at the end of the day when all you want to do is sleep. At that point, laying down on a bare mattress with just your comforter and pillow sounds more appealing!

I tried to ignore what I knew I should do—just go make her bed! I walked back into the room with her comforter, fresh out of the dryer. “Get up,” I sighed sympathetically. She moved, and I proceeded to make her bed.

The next day she asked me, “Why did you make my bed last night?” I didn’t have the humility to say that it was because she had served me the same way so many times before. “Well, because you needed me to,” I responded.

I felt ashamed that she’d had to ask me to help her out. The thought actually had crossed my mind that it would be nice to make her bed for her before she asked. But I ignored it. Then, after she did ask, I ignored the request.

How many opportunities to serve do we recognize and then ignore? The example of service in someone else should stir you to action. Honestly, I probably would not have made her bed had she never made mine—that is just human nature.

My roommate gave to me as she expects me to give back to her. Her example puts a prod on me to have more of a mind to serve. The more you serve, the more you will inspire others to serve. Living the give way is infectious! This is the mentality God wants all of us to develop, even if it is expressed in something as mundane as making a bed.