THE POWER OF HUMILITY
I was asked to be a guest speaker at a church in Orlando. It was an honor to speak at this prestigious church. When I heard of the invitation I was full of excitement. My problem was I was a little too prideful. All I could think about was the occasion, what to preach, how to do various things,etc.
On the day of the engagement, I arrived at the church and could not find anywhere to park. It was raining and humid and several distracting things happened on the way to the church. When I got into the church, I was greeted by a long-haired, unusual looking man whom I had never met, and who was led over to me by one of his friends. He was totally blind. The blind man hugged me as though I were his brother who had been away for a long time. He was sincere, friendly, and genuine. Someone said, ” He is our special music for today.” The special music was to be just before my sermon. I thought, this can’t be good.
A little later, we all went into the sanctuary for the service. The church was packed. People were standing in the narthex and folding chairs were being put in other empty spaces. The denominational authorities were there from that faith. There were other distinguished guests as well in attendance. I thought, “Wow! All this for me?”
Everything was going well. I felt nervous but confident. Then the special music was announced. When the man was introduced there was great applause. He was dressed in very casual attire and was led to the piano by his attendant. Who is this man? Everyone was looking at him with anticipation as he adjusted his seat and placed his hands on the piano. Then, he began to sing and play the piano perfectly. The voice was outstanding and the playing was effortless. But, the look on his face and the way he sang was spiritually moving . He did three songs. Each one seemed better than the one prior. When he was done everyone had a handkerchief or tissue and you could feel the love and admiration they had for this exceptional musician. I felt ashamed. I thought they were there for me.
The music was over and it was time for me to speak. This was the first time I thought I would not be able to speak. When I got to the pulpit I looked out over the audience and thought to myself, “God help me.” I was seized for a moment with emotion and the feeling of how do I say anything after a spiritually dynamic performance like that? Duty came to the rescue. I began to preach and the Holy Spirit, who was there for him, was there for me. I needed Him! The planned message was immediately put aside and one extemporaneously was put in its place. The message was now on humility. It was about a man who thought he was all that important and a another man who humbly went about his Father’s business with power and Godly impact. I did not tell them in the sermon that the prideful man was me and that a blind man had shown me the light.
When it was over the pastor of the church took me to the front of the church along with the blind man to greet the people as they left. The musician was swarmed with people and only a few came to where the pastor and I were standing. The people were warm and friendly as they left the church. I went over to the blind man and told him how much I was blessed by his ministry. He said,”the people have heard the word of the Lord today with power and that is what is important.” I did not expect that. He thought the Word was honored today? I could go home with the consolation of honoring God’s Word. That experience will always be in my mind and heart. That man really knew the Master and had spent much time in His presence, no doubt. I would do well to follow his example. (Simposious).