We are called every day to bring new life into the world by serving others. Life with meaning and purpose and joy and peace.
It seems like another life–so many years ago when I attended that little rural elementary school. There was a boy in our class who had an embarrassing physical problem. Billy could not control his bladder and so every day would wet his pants. It was obviously a difficult situation. I was reminded of Billy recently when I read an email that has been making the rounds:
“Come with me to a third grade classroom. . . There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden there is a puddle between his feet and his pants are wet in front. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It’s never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they’ll never speak to him again as long as he lives.
The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, “Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I’m dead meat.”
He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy’s lap.
The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, “Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!”
Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that could have been his has been transferred to someone else—Susie. She tries to help clean up, but they tell her to get out of the way. “You’ve done enough, you klutz!”
Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, “You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Susie whispers back, “I wet my pants once too.”
Sometimes I think we have difficulty connecting Biblical concepts with our daily lives. As I write this it is the last Sunday of Easter on the church calendar. Next Sunday is Pentecost. I’ve been thinking about Easter and the resurrection of Christ and the story of Pentecost.What has all of this to do with me ? Of course, it is a profound reminder that this life as we know it is not the end. But it is also a poignant exemplar of a God-given paradigm: new life follows self-sacrifice. We are called every day to bring new life into the world by serving others. Life with meaning and purpose and joy and peace. Susie was willing to take ridicule in order to save a friend from ridicule. The best way to celebrate Easter and to understand the miracle of Pentecost is to renew our commitment to Christ and follow his example of self-sacrifice.
QUESTION: In what way is God calling you to bring new life into the lives of others around you? Please respond in the Comments section below.