Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Painful Gift

I spent yesterday evening in an emergency room stripped half naked with wires running from my chest to my ankles while connected to an oxygen tank. Of course, the door to my room was wide open for all to see...nice. I rushed in because my chest felt tight and I was struggling to breathe (not good signs) and was somewhat frightened because this is how my maternal grandfather died.

I sat there watching people watching me and praying that God wouldn't let me die just yet when it struck me--I had been praying for some time to be nothing more than a humble servant and often humility demands humiliation.

The romantic pictures of the cross do not paint an accurate portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus (read the book Crucifixion by Martin Hengel) for the one whom all creation was made would have been stripped naked and nailed to a piece of wood that was blood stained from having been used several times before. Moreover, Jesus, like all men, would have lost control of his bodily functions before or at the time of his death. The King of all creation would have been naked, beaten and stained in blood, urine and feces.

We cannot serve without humility and humility often demands humiliation.