New Perspectives: Notes of Humility by Rev. Heather McCarrel

by Patrick Hendry/Unsplash

There is a new rule in our house; no news after 7:00 p.m.!

The last time I watched the 11:00 p.m. news I didn’t sleep a wink that night.  The softness of my bed and the quietness of my room carried me back to the underground garages where Ukrainian families slept on damp cement floors covered by thin blankets.

As  I tossed and turned my thoughts returned to the father standing outside a train as it pulled away holding his son’s toy car with tears rolling down his face; he sent his family away to safety while he stayed to fight for his country.  My prayers began to rise throughout that long night.

I began to ponder, “What is power?”  Certainly from the news we can easily make the mistake of thinking missiles, bombs and instruments of war define that which power is.  Putin and his kind seem to have the upper hand, their brute force leaving us all feeling small, useless and vulnerable.

Jesus knew what it was to feel vulnerable.  He lived his final days with the knowledge of what lied ahead; the fickle crowds, misled leaders, and the unimaginable pain of nails hammered by the hatred of humanity.

Despite this he demonstrated the ultimate act of power. Everyone except Jesus was caught off guard. With a basin of clean water and an ordinary towel he knelt down and washed the feet of every disciple; even washing the feet of Judas, knowing all the while that Judas was going to betray him.

Over 2000 years later this humble act remains an example of how to reach great heights by kneeling low to help others. As Saint Augustine writes, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes humans as angels.”

Such an angel is Davide Martello who traveled 5000 miles to play his piano for the Ukrainian refugees.  This man knows a thing or two about what is truly powerful.  He traveled from Germany to the Ukrainian-Polish border with his piano where he played music to bring peace and hope to the refugees. He understands the power of beauty and melody to carry people out of the ugliness of war and to soothe anxieties.

What a vision he created; sitting there at his piano defying the bombs, the soldiers and the devastation that surrounded him. His humble act of love and beauty has lifted the spirits of many around the globe.

We each can do our part to add to the peace in this world; each bowing down to pray or reaching out to help.  We can share our resources; the Red Cross is accepting online donations as are most denominations.  Humbling ourselves to lift others up is the most Christ-like act any of us could ever do; it connects us to an eternal power that brings life out of seemingly dead situations.