Have you ever been humbled by the kindness of others?
I was today.
My mother-in-law – yes, the one who had a stroke a couple of months ago – has an ant problem in her apartment. She has had for quite some time. But with her cataracts and all, it never bothered her. She couldn’t see the little, crawling insects. In her defense, they are “ghost” ants!
Now that she has a live-in home health aid whose vision allows her to see infinitesimal insects, I thought it was time for some pest control. So I called a pest control specialist I know. I thought $175 was a little steep for a 900+ square-foot apartment, but whatever. The ants and other creepy crawlies (I saw an outdoor beetle last night) need to be gone!
He called me and asked, “Are you sure you’ve seen ants here? I don’t see anything.”
“Yes, last night there was a cup on the table on the kitchen table, and sugar ants were crawling around it,” I told him.
“Just one ant?”
“No, a whole bunch. And there are ghost ants all the time. Mostly in the kitchen, but sometimes other places too.” (I’ve lived in South Florida long enough that my pest control specialist – Woot, woot! Truly Nolen – yes, that’s product placement in print – has taught me the difference between several ant species.)
“Okay. I don’t see anything, but I’ll go ahead and treat it,” he said.
About a half-hour later he called again.
My imagination is so active it veers on the side of paranoia, so I was halfway expecting him to tell me my mother-in-law had gone berserk-o. Gimme a break, a woman who was born in 1937, just had a stroke, and might be on the verge of dementia sometimes does some, well, crazy stuff.
This is what I hear:
“Valerie, forget about the check.”
“What? Are you sure?”
“Yeah, Sweet woman. She reminded me of my mom who died a year ago of Alzheimer’s.”
I’m thinking: But you gotta eat! Instead I say, “Now you’re going to make me cry.” Which is true.
“Give it to God,” he says. “Give it to God.”
“Okay, thank you.”
Right away I think: What kind of gift card can I give him?
And then, head in my hands, it hits me: He said, ‘Give it to God.’
Just last week my church’s Finance Committee decided to tithe the church’s offerings. A step of faith and obedience. The saying “God works in mysterious ways” is not a Bible verse, but possibly derived from Isaiah 55:8-9:
8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Okay, God. I will give it to You.
I don’t share this as a way of bragging. No, I was absolutely humbled. Floored.
According to That’s not whahttp://www.dougbrittonbooks.com/onlinebiblestudies-selfworthandrespect/meaningofhumilityinthebible-humbleinbible.phpt the Bible says,
Biblical humility means: “you are free from pride and arrogance. You know that in your flesh you are inadequate, yet you also know who you are in Christ.”
Yep, totally. Inadequate, but in, well of, Christ.
Thank You, Lord, for Your kindness. For Your hands and feet, Your Church, on this fallen world.
Postscript: It’s not about the “money, money, money,” but His kindness, love and forgiveness. Amen.