“We touch things with our hands but we touch lives only by services “- Olatunji Rockdweller
Earlier this month, my friend and I were privileged to be part of an amazing leadership conference. He observed something was wrong with my brown Minnetonka Loafers – he knew the shoes weren’t in their best shape and he decided to make the difference.
“Guy , why you no lace your shoe well na.” He muttered.
I succinctly replied “bro na so this shoe be jare, na so I dey wear am since I buy am.”
I wore a black suit jacket (the chilling environment compelled me to such ) on a white shirt with an open collar and my blue Chino pair of trouser were perfectly creased but my shoes were awkwardly laced (I did that my own way. I tucked in the excessive length through the ankle region of my feet).
My friend is no stranger to my gawkiness; he had seen me wade through my endless ocean of imperfections countless times. Howbeit, my ineptness when it comes to rope-related task like lacing, knotting of tie etc may be oblivious to his kind heart . In fact, I consciously avoid dress styles that advertise my weaknesses in this area of life like a plague.
This great man bent towards my feet, extended his gifted hands to give each loafer some aesthetic touches. The picture of Jesus squatting to wash the feet of his disciples became vivid on the canvas of my lofty soul. In just 52 seconds (Yeah, let’s assume I counted… Lol), the worth of the shoes skyrocketed just as my level of comfort. Amazingly, the same laces scratching my sensitive skin in the most unromantic way are now beautiful artistic designs just on top of my shoes.
Same pair of shoe, same length of leathery rope; the artistic touches of a willing soul turned the water to wine!
Personally, this singular act of kindness is one of the most inspiring moments of this year . I do hope sharing few of the lessons garnered from this encounter would inspire someone.
Permit me to share just two important messages I caught from this and her they are :
1. SENSITIVITY: Naturally, we observe people’s faults and imperfections like indecent dressing, terrible grammatical blunders, chronic Halitosis, and Body Odours . Only a few people are sensitive enough to spot folks who are really wrestling with depression, fear and all sorts of psychological and emotional attacks. Sadly, many believers are so wrapped in themselves to the level at which they are totally blinded to the plight of their fellow believers and neighbors.
A great mind focuses on how he can be useful to people and systems around him. My Friend was sensitive enough to know how he could add value to my life by simply rendering his service; he knew exactly how, when and where to come in. Sensitivity is a great virtue but what we do after we have sensed people’s needs and imperfections is the main task. Some people gist about it, many laugh the victims to scorn(I do sometimes when it comes to obvious grammatical ‘assassination’), others are actually indifferent about it. Only the expectational minds extend gracious support and aids.
2. BENDING: Bending is nothing but humility. It is placing your personality on the line and carrying the cross of grace publicly and unashamed. Over the times, I have come to realize this : the greater one is actually the bending one. Service is another thing that comes to mind whenever bending is mentioned. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. Mark 10:44 MSG
Jesus bent (humbled) himself. He left heaven willingly and submitted himself to mortality and its limitations. Even though, He was the creator of all things yet he bent himself to people and things that he created through his words . He literally bent to wash the feet of his disciples – we lead by washing the feet of our followers.
Let’s briefly talk about Melchizedek king of Salem in Genesis 14. He encountered Abram in the valley of Shavel. These are my thoughts about this historical meeting :
1. He didn’t need Abram but the other way round, yet he went to meet the over-stressed, bloodstained, topsy-turvy looking dude who had been bastardized by the torrent of war. Unlike my good friend, many folks expect people to come meet them for help before they extend their hand of mercy. Sadly, most people don’t even know they need help.
2. The valley is a place for destitute and rugged dudes like Abram not for kings (Not even a king the class of Melchizedek). The location was a total slap to his class and status yet he sacrificed all his glory just to minister to the poor man wobbling back from war.
We all have social classes and strata; so many people won’t want to bend to relate with people below their pecking order and outside their ‘tribes’. The pious choir mistress doesn’t want to be caught speaking with the heavily tattooed bouncer in public, the fellowship president prefer to talk to the bawd in secrecy. Many people have forgotten, the light has to bend before it can shine in the darkness, then the darkness will disappear and give way to the influence of the shinning light. In fact, the light was designed for the darkness.
Influence is soft pedaled when folks are too conscious of their environment and allow external opinions dwarf their sense of purpose.
Bending is sacrifice and great humility is required. My friend bent to minister to me when the environment didn’t encourage such feat. It’s was an aristocratic gathering. We sat just 5 rolls away from the podium, a location where everyone strived to strike his best posture for two obvious reasons.
1. It was within the view of the speakers.
2. The exposure to light and camera made it worse and considering the thousands of audiences watching on the huge screen even hundreds of thousands globally via some advance technologies like livestreams.
Today, I encourage you to bend and lace up a life (lives) now and forever more . Show love to someone who doesn’t ‘deserve’ it, render help to somebody who isn’t bold enough to ask for it, give someone a holy ‘kiss’, be the first to greet your minors today, give a smile to a stranger and take some selfies with that unrefined security man of yours.
Finally my beloved, be consciously sensitive to people’s needs and be more than willing to bend and lace them up!
Remember, You are somebody’s miracle…. Just live!
Be sensitive enough to share this and bend a bit by leaving a comment.