Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge
Brent Price, Outreach Chaplain
Have you ever known someone who always finds a way to make sure everyone notices them? You know, the one who enters a room exclaiming in one way or another, “Here I am!” Always center-stage, managing to push their way to the front of every parade, each moment of their life makes it clear that no matter what it is—– it’s always about them. Humility is definitely over-rated.
Given many of the ways I hear the word used, humility doesn’t sound like a quality I’m ready to embrace either. Think about it. Poor people, the mentally challenged and the under-privileged are frequently labeled “humble.” Persons who are inappropriately modest or demonstrate a low estimate of their importance are humble. When someone is “humbled” we generally think of someone who has been brought down a notch or two. Meek and lowly all too often means weak and powerless. Not sure it’s for me.
However, genuine humility is a beautiful quality in any person. You know who these people are. They touch our lives in often simple yet profound ways. They enter a room in a manner that says, “Well, there you are!” They would rather see than be seen, listen rather than be heard. At times you know there is somewhere else they need to be, but they have chosen to be with you instead. In their presence you can sense a power that is never overwhelming or abusive.
Here we experience humility rooted in love. Inspiring and encouraging it creates opportunities for others to see in themselves that which was hidden. It takes a back seat, but couldn’t imagine missing the ride. It works backstage so the show can be a success in spite of the fact that it will never be invited to take a bow.
Don’t be fooled by fake modesty and watch out for the person who is secretly dying to get noticed because they are so “humble.” It doesn’t take long to figure out, but they can get you if you don’t watch out.
True humility lies at the heart of the choice to set ourselves aside for a moment, or a week or more for the sake of another. It doesn’t discount the worth of its words or deeds, nor does it advertise them for all to see. Rooted in a servant’s heart, humility quietly goes about the work of love. It speaks for itself.
Thank God for all those who continue to see others first, going about the work of love, making this spinning ball we call home a better place for us all.