To me, humility is about being self-forgetful. How hard is that? I find that the more I think about this issue, that it is fundamentally about trust. When I don’t forget myself in the sense that Jesus meant, then I am clinging on to my way of doing things and not trusting. This elusive thing called humility is about not focusing on yourself. Becoming Christlike has nothing to do with navel-gazing and everything to do with gazing on Christ. As soon as you think you’re becoming more humble you’re not, because you’re thinking about yourself again. It really is about denying yourself. Humble people never think of themselves as humble. A friend once said to me that the closer you are to God, the more you will be aware of your imperfections. Christian psychologist Larry Crabb says that if you ask a mature person when they last sinned they will smile the smile of a broken but healing person. God help me to be self-forgetful.
Archive for June, 2008
The other morning I had an experience involving a homeless man who sometimes can be seen at the bus stop I frequent each morning on my way to work. This particular morning he was at the corner of one of the intersections where I cross the road waiting at the lights when I was walking up to them. As I approached the lights the homeless man and I exchanged eye contact for a second, so I said ‘How you going mate?’ He didn’t respond, but walked behind me and stood there about a foot or so away. My first thought was about the backpack on my back - I feared that he might want to take something from it. So I looked over my shoulder in a way that he hopefully wouldn’t notice to see what he was doing, and as I looked around he moved a bit further around out of my view. When I looked around a bit further he started to walk off and then when the lights changed and I crossed the road he came back and crossed the road, following me. At the other side of the road where we had to wait again, I looked around again, and then as those lights changed I was looking around and was thinking of saying something to him like ‘Can I help you?’ or ’Do you need anything?’ as I would have been happy to take him and buy him some breakfast or something like that. But as I turned around he also turned and walked away and that was the last I saw of him.
I felt sad for him, and I prayed a dangerous prayer. I prayed that God would bring him back into my life. I don’t want him to come back into my life; I don’t want to feel awkward and out of my comfort zone, but I believe it’s a prayer that I needed to pray. I thought of something that my pastor had said in terms of that person being Jesus - I was hungry and you didn’t feed me. When we exchanged glances and I looked into his eyes for that second, did I see the eyes of Jesus? For him life is about survival, whereas for me it is often about how my footy team will go on the weekend. I pray that I will see the eyes of Christ in the poor and then have the courage to be Christ to all who come across my path.