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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

A Lesson in Humility

My friend Leslie related the story of a time she worked in the children’s nursery at church during a special weekend event. A single whiff of the toddler in front of her indicated the need for a diaper change.

Plopping the little guy onto the changing table, Leslie began to change one ferocious diaper. Though she worked quickly, Leslie was nonetheless overcome by the strong smell. Turning her head to the side, she attempted to stifle her gag reflex, to no avail.

Noticing her distress from across the room, Don, a fellow nursery worker, approached the gasping woman and swiftly intervened. Stepping in, he grabbed hold of the child’s plump legs. “Here, I’ll take over,” he said nonchalantly.

Leslie moved out of the way and he continued the dirty job. With great relief, she walked to the opposite side of the room and got some fresh air.

What impresses me most is not simply that Don is a man, but he is also the pastor of our church. Compassion and humility were plainly demonstrated as our unassuming leader stepped in to take over for Leslie. Pastor Don’s actions spoke louder than any words he might have said, and God’s character was clearly evident in his humble deed.

When Leslie shared this story with me, it caused me to search my own heart. Do my actions reflect the Lord I claim to serve? Am I willing to serve even when it’s a dirty job?

Remarkably, Jesus, the King of Kings, fastened a towel around his waist and stooped down to wash his disciples’ filthy feet. This shocking and unexpected act demonstrated the utter importance of serving one another in humility. Two thousand years later, Jesus’ actions still reverberate, calling us to servanthood.

As I fasten an apron around my waist to prepare dinner today, I recall the Lord’s humble actions, and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my family. The cry of my heart is to become like the One who loves me with an everlasting love. My daily goal is to reflect the love of Christ as Pastor Don did that day in a noisy church nursery. I may not literally wash my husband or children’s feet this evening, but my actions can still reflect those of a humble servant. Hopefully, as I serve my family and others around me, hearts will then be pointed in God’s direction, and lives (not just a diaper) will be changed.

“So He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” (John 13: 4-5)

“And whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 20:27)

Copyright © Julie Gillies 2008, used by permission.

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