I was recently surprised that a family member accused me of having a hero complex and trying to be a pompous knight on a white horse when I helped other family members in their pain, loneliness, and even despair, after they reached out to me for advice and assistance.
As I responded to two family groups with health issues, I focused on the caregivers as much as on the afflicted. After one conversation, I had to sit in my car and cry for a bit before I could drive. It certainly didn't feel like a hero moment.
When we try to emulate Christ, to live the gospel, to "do unto others," we're going to pursue messy, inconvenient lives. I don't "have" time to help these folks, but I feel moved to "make" time to help.
Jesus lived this kind of life and commanded us to do the same. After demonstrating his servanthood by washing the disciples' feet, he told the disciples in John 13: 15-17:
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus' life was messy and inconvenient. It strikes me how much Jesus got interrupted. He would be teaching, and someone would request him to come to their house to heal a sick person. Then, on the way, he would be interrupted by someone else needing healing.
Or when Jesus would actually try to take a break and get some rest, the crowds would follow him. Jesus' compassion was boundless, so he would stop and heal and teach, even when he was spent. Then he taught us to do the same.
Look, we can't fix every problem we encounter - no one could possibly do that. But the Spirit will tell you when it's your turn. Then your life will become messy, inconvenient, compassionate, and full of humble service.
Humility. Humility is when we are born again into a stable next to a donkey, like our master. Humility is not seeking out the white charger but untying a lowly donkey and riding it into the masses of the world, like Jesus did in Jerusalem. We must become manger babes on donkeys to truly live the gospel.
Maybe we'll be criticized and maligned. Well, are we greater than our master? So was he criticized and maligned. Will we be misunderstood? So was Jesus.
Christmas seems like a good time to revisit Jesus's story and try, in our small ways, to make it our own. Let's get on our knees and wash feet, because Jesus did. Let's allow inconvenience into our lives, because he did. Let's feel compassion that compels us to get outside of our comfort zones and wheelhouses, because he did. Let's become born again as babes in lowly places ourselves, ready to slowly ride little donkeys into the midst of the world's clamor and chaos, just as Jesus did.
Several of the ideas in this blog come from my upcoming book, From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone: How Jesus Urges Us to Take Leaps of Faith for His Kingdom. It's now available for presale at store.CecilTaylorMinistries.com. Please check it out there and from my home page.