Paul tells us more than once to be imitators of Christ and I woke up this morning with words from a passage in Philippians going through my mind.
Our Lord Jesus Christ didn’t consider equality with God a thing to be grasped; he didn’t hang on to this as a right. No, instead, he humbled himself…took on the very nature of a servant…the form of man. He walked in our shoes to such an extent that it led him to a cross…in my place!! I may never grasp the full truth of what he has done for me but now and again we may have the opportunity to take just a few faltering steps in someone else’s shoes.
My mind went back to something I’d written in my journal some years ago.
A Few Faltering Steps
I sat there sipping my coffee as I listened to my friend whose husband was dying. Her heartache was more than I could comprehend. What could I do or say when I had no idea what she was going through? After a while, I thought to ask her what she had done to relax or enjoylife over the past few long months and she couldn’t think of anything. We ended up getting some videos and, along with another friend, and in the company of some very spontaneous teenagers we had a happy evening. I could do nothing to change my friend’s pain or suffering but, just for a moment, I could take her hand and walk a few steps with her.
Just a week or so ago I was sitting in the lounge room of another friend who was dying. Her acceptance that God is in control of all that has happened in her life has meant that we talk little of what she is going through. I was rather surprised therefore, to hear her say that she didn’t know how she was going to cope with losing her hair. Again, I was overcome with that feeling of helplessness and so I said, “If it would help, I’ll get mine cut off too.”
I couldn’t believe those words had come from my mouth but I couldn’t take them back and I sat there in a slightly numb state as she jumped up saying, “Would you really do that? Would you really do that for me?”
I could think of nothing at that moment that could be more humiliating or terrifying. Was that what she was feeling? Did I have the courage to stand by her side and take just a few faltering steps with her?
If I were a cool teenager, a balding guy, or perhaps even in my 20’s with a nice shaped head this could be looked at as a fun thing to do but I was a conservative 53 year old Grandma who hated drawing attention to herself. What I’d offered to do, was indeed only a few tiny faltering steps but could I do this? Is this what it means to reflect the nature of our Lord Jesus Christ in our everyday living?