The moist, mascara-stained tissue fell gently to her lap as she reached for a new one. The pink tissue softly accented her troubled blue eyes. “I’m nobody…nowhere…with nothing to offer,” she haltingly repeated. “What good am I here?” Streaks on the just-cleaned windows were subtly disclosed by the rays of the early afternoon sun. A warm breeze was teasing the white lace curtains. Children’s laughter were mingled with the grinding sounds of buses shifting, slowing, stopping and starting again. Two women sat together, one on the sofa, one in an easy chair. A table, Kleenex box and Bible lay between them.
“What good am I now? I’m useful to no-one, not here and certainly not back home. To what purpose did I uproot my entire life?
Why did I leave my home…my dreams…my purpose? I don’t like or need this humiliation, this embarrassment…this frustration!” Fresh tears welled up in her eyes and gently flowed down her cheeks, making a minute path in her makeup. Her friend cleared her throat, reached out with a warm, soft hand and gently said, “God is giving you a most precious gift: He loves you enough to give you the opportunity to learn to love yourself the way He loves you…unconditionally! He doesn’t love you for who you know, what you do, who knows you or what your produce. He loves you simply because you ARE. Grant yourself permission to remove all titles, positions and labels. Begin knowing yourself as Jesus sees and loves you.
“Remember, you were bought and paid for in full. You’re now a child of the most High God, with full rights and privileges. He called you to called you to leave your identity, to leave all labels and positions behind. ‘He made Himself nothing…taking the very nature of a servant…He humbled Himself and became obedient to death.’ Why? ‘…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…” (Phil.2:6-11)
“That’s the guts of why we’re here, right? So that other peoples will have the chance to bend their knee and confess with their tongue that Jesus is Lord. He humbled Himself. He left His home, position and title, remember?”
Yes, she did remember. But to discuss it and to feel it were two very different things. She hurt. She longed to be the same person here as she was back home…but she wasn’t. She was being broken, embarrassed, humiliated, shamed, and it hurt.
It was time to go, but I wanted to stay. I didn’t want to leave the warm protection of encouragement and understanding. I didn’t want to open the door to face more humiliation, more embarrassment. I was tired. But, it was time to go. I patted the few remaining tears dry, gathered my language study books and gave my new friend a hug and kiss on her cheek. “Remember why you’re here,” she said, “and remember who sent you.” I remember: The King who chose to be a Slave. The Lord who chose to be obedient. The Son who chose to be the Savior. I remember and as I walk into the unknown, fresh tears course down my cheeks. I still carry pain. But they are caught on the edge of a smile, because I also carry…hope.
This article is a classic originally published in our early print magazines.