Longing For the Gift of Humility

I was so blessed by the gift I received from a woman who had no idea she was offering it.

Pam was twenty-six years old and raising three little girls when she was diagnosed with tunnel vision.  She was told that the hole at the end of the tunnel through which she saw the world would continually get smaller until it would completely close.  Six years ago, everything went black for her.  As I sat at a formal meal with her, I was blown away by her humility and grace as she cut up her food, fed herself, and carried on such a cheerful conversation. I was in awe at how put together she was with her colorful, dangling earrings and matching necklace, her cute hair style, and her ability to carry on an engaging conversation with people she couldn’t see.  

Knowing that her eyesight had been a huge asset to her prior to losing it, I asked her what resource had taken its place? Without a second thought, she said, “community.” Her friends and family had become her biggest way of seeing her world.  

She was sitting between two such friends who shared with me their awe and wonder at how she hosts a group of women every week at her home. They went on about how she cooks for herself, takes care of her home, and always has a good attitude.  Pam quickly added with a chuckle, “most of the time.”

As I thought about the gift that was sitting in front of me, I realized that it might be the biggest expression of humility I had ever witnessed. I was in awe at her lack of thought for herself.  She sat at a table with seven other women, and she seemed to have no concern for what others might think about the food falling off her fork on its way to her mouth, about using her fingers to aid in eating, or the dark sunglasses that covered her eyes. It was very evident that her thoughts were not on herself, but on those of us who had the honor of sitting with her.  

When I tried to put myself in her shoes, I longed for a deeper growth in my humility.  I thought about the times in my life that I had felt foolish, embarrassed, or unsure and drew back from the opportunity, rather than putting myself all the way in regardless of how I felt.  Pam showed me that regardless of how I might feel, the opportunities for community have nothing to do with me.

It is about the gift of being in the moment with those around me and what is going on for them.

I am so grateful that Pam decided that I mattered, as did all the other women at our table.  As she offered herself to us in humility, she became the tallest person in the room. The impact she made on me will be passed on to people she will probably never meet.

That is the power of humility.  It transcends time and space and inspires people to offer themselves to others.

Thank you, Pam, for choosing to be the gift that you are regardless of what others might think!