I received this recently in an email from Proverbs 31 Ministries, and loved it so much that I had to share it here...or, more likely, store it here for my own future reference. It was written by Tracie Miles:
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
We sat in an empty waiting room for hours, anxiously waiting for an update on my sister's surgery. When the doctor finally entered the room, the news was not good. He explained how it was worse than expected - not exactly comforting news - and proceeded to explain the lengthy recovery needed. He wanted to prepare us for the long road ahead.
You could have heard a pin drop as we all sat there with eyes filled with tears and hearts filled with worry. But the silence came to an abrupt halt as another family entered the room with a lot of hustle and bustle.
I immersed myself in my own feelings and tried to tune them o ut until I heard the Name of Jesus filling the room.
In that moment, when fear and anxiety hovered, just the mention of Jesus' Name was music to my ears. I lifted my head to see a beautiful white-haired woman, with sparkling eyes and an engaging smile. She sat in a wheelchair, telling her family how she was praying that the Lord would heal her precious husband. Despite her grim situation, her face was glowing with joy.
I quickly averted my eyes, but within seconds she was staring at me and hollered, "Hey honey! How are you?" I managed a pitiful smile, said "Fine, thank you," and intended to keep to myself. She, however, had other plans.
Before I knew it, she had rolled her wheelchair across the room and stopped right at my feet. She talked about her family, why her husband was in surgery, and what a wonderful godly man he was. She asked about our situation and began encouraging me with God's promises.
Although at first I wished she would stop talking, I soo n found myself wanting to write down her every word as she poured out her sweetness all over me.
Then she said something I will never forget. "Honey, I hope God blesses your sister. If He can only save one person today, I hope it is her. My husband is 85 years-old and has lived a long and fruitful life."
I was literally stunned by her selflessness. I was shocked that she would even consider the thought of putting a total stranger's life ahead of the life of her dear husband. I didn't know how to respond to such a sacrificial, heartfelt, godly expression of love. Then she took my hands into hers and prayed for my sister out loud. Afterwards, I prayed for her husband, and she disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.
I walked out of that waiting room having seen a glimpse of Jesus in the face of a frail, elderly woman, a woman who was willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
This sweet lady had countless reasons to be depressed, discouraged, and hopeless. Instead she chose to be expressive, encouraging and hopeful. Most importantly, she spread those gifts to everyone around her. She replaced her worry with concern for others. She filled her heart with joy instead of sadness. She put aside her own anxiety to ease the anxiety of a total stranger. She loved on me when she needed to be loved on herself.
She willingly chose to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and I can only hope to be just like this sweet lady one day. I hope
...to become such a strong woman of faith that I can have joy and contentment even during the storms of life.
...to become such a strong woman of faith that I would sacrifice my own needs and desires for those of a stranger.
...to become a woman that leaves other people feeling as if they have seen Jesus through the light that shone through me.
Dear Lord, give me a longing to be Your hands and feet to someone in need today. Open doors for me to spread Your joy and hope. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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WOW. I want to be that kind of woman...and while part of me can't help thinking that I'm sooooo far from attaining that goal, another part of me is thrilled to know that it's not entirely up to me. That I can do all things through Him! Lord, help me to be Your hands and feet.
I can't help thinking of the Casting Crowns song "Until the Whole World Hears" as I type that... "Lord, I want to feel Your heart and see the world through Your eyes. I want to be Your hands and feet, I want to live a life that leads..."