This may seem to be a bit of an odd way to begin a blog, but I've been a “husky” fella for quite some time. My mother would unashamedly walk alongside me into the Walmart kids section and pick out the seemingly starched pair of blue jeans labeled “husky” by Rustler. Made no difference to me as I would wreck them in the hours that followed once they were fastened around my waist. But none the less, mom was looking out for her little “beef cake” ensuring I was taken care of.
I've grown older and have created relationships with people who come and go. There seems to be a common “welcome” with those who have been away for quite some time. They often smile, take a step back, look at ya from head to toe and relay how great you look, with the open-ended question of, “Wow, you look amazing! Have you lost some weight?” To my internal response of “I wish” or “Nope still the ol’ Husky G-Vegas!!!” My point is this…we often recognize the outward appearance of individuals but fail to examine the inside condition of one’s soul.
Most recently I responded with my crew on Rescue Company 1 to a motor vehicle accident where we had multiple patients to be transported to the hospital. Upon triaging the various patients, I met a woman whose name was Ruth. This accident happened in a remote neighborhood where lighting was scarce and the the intersection was adjacent to an open field. People were scattered and moving about, but not Mrs. Ruth. She was elegantly sitting on the corner edge of the field parallel to the road on a random Coburg milk crate. She, with her hands in her lap, sat with a calm demeanor amongst the chaos all around her. You see, Mrs. Ruth was blind. She and her husband were on their way home from a church service when the vehicle they were in struck another. The driver of both vehicles, as well as Mrs. Ruth’s husband, needed medical attention. Nothing life threatening, but for me, this was life changing. As Mrs. Ruth sat quietly, I approached her to inform her of her husband’s condition as well as their friend who was driving them. As precautionary measure she too would be transported to the hospital to ensure she was okay.
In conversation with Mrs. Ruth we spoke of the strength of her name and the influence of Ruth in the bible. She couldn't stop smiling as she humbly spoke of the things that God has done in her life. She then spoke to me about my “heart” condition. Not by words but by her heart communicating to mine. I could barely hold back the tears. I reassured her that she would be fine along with the others she was with. Not because I have any medical insight, but because I knew the Lord had His hands wrapped around them.
I don’t fill out my “husky” jeans by avoiding the dinner table and neither does my heart get full by avoiding the truths found in God’s humble pie. It’s moments like these that we must take a step back and reflect on the impact this woman and others in your life have on us. You see, being blind she didn’t care about my stunning physique. She didn’t care about skin color or or the fire truck I was assigned to. She cared about my heart. Her impact led to this blog. Her love for the inward condition propels me to encourage you to do the same.
We as Christians cannot afford to reduce ourselves to the outward appearance and influence of others. We, through the Holy Spirit, must examine the heart of each person we come in contact with. We cannot stand still while people are wandering without purpose. Romans 8:26-28 says:
26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to
pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings
too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what
is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints
according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
I absolutely believe that Mrs. Ruth was no ordinary woman. Mrs. Ruth was sent by God to minister to not only mine, but your life as well.
Consider the hearts of those in your closest circle of influence. Have your prayers been for their spiritual condition or rather the wants and desires of their own hearts. Are we truly focused on the inward and blinded by the outward? What does that even mean?
I believe that when we see through the lens of Mrs. Ruth and the Holy Spirit we are able to examine the hearts of men. We become solely focused on eternal things and not worried about the things that will “fade away.” To often we see through a tunnel and lose the whole picture of the Glory of God. I have had heavy servings of humble pie. I want to steer clear of the table, but end up in front of a platter. Not that these moments of humble gluttony are bad, but it’s the way I exercise the humbleness that matters. Am I soaking up these great moments or am I sharing them through faith with you and others?
As the holiday season approaches, make room for some humble pie. Seek opportunities to be intentional about others inward condition. Mrs. Ruth has taught me a lot, and honestly I wish I was able to meet her again. It does, however, seem certain that she had one purpose in my life, in the 20 minutes that we shared together. She was to simply there to serve me a small slice of humble pie.
I’m forever grateful for her and others that have served the same recipe.