Editor’s Note: On this seventeenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Anna Metzger, who just completed her time on mission in Bolivia with FMS, shares what a bike injury taught her about humility.
Nothing teaches us humility quite like the Christ child. God chose to come to earth as a baby…babies are the most vulnerable and helpless humans on earth. They are completely dependent on their parents for everything. Just like all of us, Jesus relied on His parents, Mary and Joseph. I’m sure He often asked for help and learned from them as He grew up.
Here recently, I have also felt like a vulnerable, helpless child. At the end of October, I had a minor bike wreck, and I fractured my elbow, which put me in a full arm cast and sling. That first week with a cast was very difficult for me. Aside from the pain, I was very frustrated and emotional. Much of my freedom to do things on my own was taken away. I had to learn to start asking for help again … help to do the simplest of tasks, such as getting dressed, bathing, putting my hair up, cutting my food, and tying my shoes: all daily tasks that I used to not think twice about. I felt very vulnerable as I had to rely on others to help me. I was most upset that I couldn’t shower or change my shirt whenever I wanted. Just as an infant relies on his or her parents to change their diaper and take a bath, I, too, relied on “mamay” (my mom in Quechua) to bathe me and help me get dressed. I had to daily choose humility and learn to be childlike again; to be okay receiving help.
One day, as my friend’s mom was washing my hair at her hair salon, she said, “We always like to give, give, give, but at times we need to learn to receive.” My dad followed up by saying, “sometimes if we don’t accept others’ offers, we take away their desire and ability to serve.” Each shared wisdom that I needed to hear, and it changed my perspective on the situation. It was now my turn to stand in humility and accept the love, care, and support that so many people around me were offering to give.
I can be particular when it comes to how I do things, but instead of being nit-picky about the way my hair looked, or how my clothes were folded or shoes tied, I chose to let others help in the best way they knew how. As I stepped back and watched, I admired the uniqueness of each person. Each friend of mine has different ways of doing things, yet each one supported me with love in their heart. I chose to humbly receive instead of proudly give or correct.
During this Advent and Christmas season when our hearts are compelled to constantly give, may we also remember to humbly receive. May we stand in awe as we reflect on the life of the Christ child, how He, too, was once vulnerable and helpless. Jesus had no choice but to receive … receive support from His earthly parents as a child and receive the will of His heavenly Father as an adult. Just as Jesus received with open arms, may we also learn to receive the love and blessings others desire to give us this season.
How can you stand in a posture of humility, and how or what is God calling you to receive this season?
- Viviana for helping me bathe and get dressed
- Anita and her colleagues for washing my hair at the salon
- Nora for putting up my hair and helping me around the house
- Victor for cleaning my room and helping me pack to move
- Domonique for helping me move
- All who helped tie my shoes and fold my laundry
- The kids at my ministry site for decorating my cast and keeping me laughing
- Martin for accompanying me to the doctor and making me laugh when I was in pain and frustrated
- My family for moral support while being far away
- The kind strangers in airports and on planes who helped while I traveled
- All those who prayed
- All my friends who supported me in the ways I haven’t mentioned
Thank you for loving me and teaching me to humbly receive.