Humbled and inspired

Published 6:05 am Tuesday, April 9, 2013

There are many times when I have been humbled. And, then there are times when I have been really humbled. There is a difference.

I might have been humbled when thinking that I had on a well-tailored suit with everything in place. Starched, white shirt, perfectly tied knot in the tie, the right colored shoes and they brightly shined, a good hair day, and all else seemingly splendid. Only to find that, after such proud thinking, my zipper had been down instead of up! That’s humbling.

Or prepared to sing before lots of people and having introduced what is described as “my favorite song,” finding that I can’t remember the first line or even the name of the tune. That’s humbling.

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As a preacher, there are plenty of moments for exhilaration and excitement, but don’t get too big-headed, there’s an humbling moment right around the corner just waiting to downsize your ego.

Those moments of humility, though, are just aspects of life that happen and then we move on to the next time.

This past weekend, though, I was really humbled as I came face to face with the reality that the circumstances of life can be so quickly changed. In the amount of time that it takes to snap a finger we can go from the blessings of good health to the challenge of life never being the same again.

There are many different happenings that could bring about this immediate change. It might be a stroke. One day life is normal. Walking, talking, laughing, eating regular meals, doing any of those taken-for-granted things that we do.

Then, boom! In many cases, there is never a warning. It just happens and all of those things we took for granted are gone. Perhaps forever. Gone and there but for the grace of God, it could happen to any of us.

Donna Sue’s Aunt Mildred suffered a stroke many weeks ago and the family, particularly Donna Sue’s mother, has lovingly come to the aid of their precious loved one. It is humbling to see the results of such a devastating blow, but the heroic response of family has been inspiring.

There is no doubt that the major burden of the event has fallen on Mildred, herself. She is the one who must suffer the inability to move, speak, eat solid foods, and perform other regular functions. I can’t imagine it and neither can anyone else who has not experienced those losses.

Yet, I see in her eyes a determination to overcome. Despite this destructive trauma, she has the “want to” to smile and recover and I believe she will fight. It’s in her genes.

And beside her, every day, with an encouraging attitude that is borne out of a great love, devotion, and that same gene pool, is her sister, Emma Lou. They have not been raised to quit and they won’t.

They are tributes to the human spirit. I read a quote about that. “Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” That’s true because man did not make the human spirit. God did! And, for that, I am humbled and inspired.