Service and Humility are Powerful
Written April 2018
When Wycliffe Bible translator Doug Meland and his wife moved into a village of Brazil’s Fulnio Indians, he was referred to simply as “the white man.” The term was by no means complimentary since other white men had exploited them, burned their homes, and robbed them of their lands.
But after the Melands learned the Fulnio language and began to help the people with medicine and in other ways, they began calling Doug “the respectable white man.” When the Melands began adopting the customs of the people, the Fulnio gave them greater acceptance and spoke of Doug as “the white Indian.”
Then one day, as Doug was washing the dirty, bloodcaked foot of an injured Fulnio boy, he overheard a bystander say to another, “Whoever heard of a white man washing an Indian’s foot before? Certainly this man is from God!”
From that day on, whenever Doug would go into an Indian home, it would be announced, “Here comes the man God sent us.”
Service is powerful, but you know the opposite of humility and service is powerful too.
I heard this secondhand but I have no reason to believe that it was false. I grew up attending a very large Baptist Church in Graham. It had, at that time, the largest sanctuary in Alamance county. Very seldom did I ever see us get to capacity, only on the very rarest of occasions was it very difficult to find a seat. Sometimes you might not find a seat in the general area that you wanted to be in, but because of the church’s size seats were plentiful. The story goes that one morning, before the eleven o’clock service, visitors came to the church and simply sat down in an open seat. Well, the place where they chose to sit happened to be where another person who was a long standing member of the church sat. That member came up to these visitors and asked them to move because that was their seat. The person promptly got up and left, never to be seen in the sanctuary again.
Just as service and humility is powerful to melt the hearts of others, so pride is in hardening the heart.
The lesson I glean from these verses is simple, Lord, keep me humble, let me serve. Let me not forget to what lengths you went to serve and sacrifice and may that be my guide for my life.
Jesus, keep me near the cross, There a precious fountain— Free to all, a healing stream— Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
Near the cross, a trembling soul, Love and Mercy found me; There the bright and morning star Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God, Bring its scenes before me; Help me walk from day to day, With its shadows o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait Hoping, trusting ever, Till I reach the golden strand, Just beyond the river.
Refrain: In the cross, in the cross, Be my glory ever; Till my raptured soul shall find Rest beyond the river.