So I was pretty sure I was about to get my gluteus maximus handed to me on a platter. Instead, I received a more gracious lesson in humilty than I could ever have imagined.
Someone else handed that part to me on a platter in a different matter, but that’s another story.
A friend of mine just posted “I’ve been learning a lot about humility lately” and I replied “me too.” I have a new-found respect for the beatitude about the meek, because if they’re anything like the few meek people I knew, I do believe they deserve the inheritance of this beautiful earth.
Maybe like a lot of people, I have a lumpy ego – strong in some areas, wilted in others. In my role as pastor, and particularly as female pastor, I’ve assumed a strong stance. Just because I’m a lady minister does not mean that I am a pushover, so I will assert myself in meetings and sermons and emails and all sorts of places. And sometimes I really am working from a strong place; sometimes I’m just pretending and praying that no one will pull the curtain and discover that, in fact, I am not Great and Powerful but just pretending to be.
I want to be strong, smart, articulate, assertive, on top of things. But I learned today that sometimes being those things is off-putting or discouraging to someone else. There I was, talking to someone whom the world might disregard, overlook, or write off, for reasons of prejudice I won’t go into. I was pretty sure this person was mad at me and was going to let me have it. So I had girded my loins and prayed my version of the Sinner’s Prayer: “Dear sweet Jesus, please help me to keep my mouth shut and help me to channel just a little bit of your grace. Amen.”
Well, Jesus didn’t need to help me keep my mouth shut because my Meek of the Earth person did. In an elegant, direct, kind way, this person helped me understand that when I put forth my Miss Smartypants self, I can be intimitidating. The wilted part of my ego finds it hilarious that I could intimidate anyone, but the reality check I had today confirmed it. At some point during our conversation I had the big a-ha. Oh, this is what Jesus means by the least of these. These are the ones we are to care about and to care for. I have gotten it wrong, wrong, wrong. It really is so not about me.
Anyway, I’m humbled today, and that comes from a strong place, if you know what I mean.