OK, OK, I resorted to "click bait", it's true. I have had thoughts about humiliation v. humility for weeks. Let me give you a bit of background to that thought.
Currently, we are quite literally living off the charity of others. Charity can have negative connotation in our society, especially if you are the one needing it. It is a word we can use frequently with a touch of superiority. We make "charitable donations", do charitable deeds for those less fortunate that ourselves.
Charity is defined as, "benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity". The origin of the word is from a Latin word meaning Christian love, dearness. It's akin to Old Irish word meaning "friend". That is a word loaded with All The Good Things. We all admire those who have given their lives to charitable living, those living in the trenches, those who get into the dirt and grime to embrace marginalized people. Think Mother Teresa.
In our society, it is a noble thing to give to charity, even the government supports charitable donations. Giving to the needy had always filled me with good feelings. Seeing the needy pulls on my heart. I generally tear up when I do face-to-face charitable deeds. It feels good. I also find it humbling. Giving costs me. Sometimes, not much at all, sometimes it's a big faith thing. Sometimes, an act of obedience.
So, where I am now? On the receiving end, that's where. You know what's hard? RECEIVING! I am very independent (You're shocked, right?). Not being self sufficient is hard. Not being financial independent is hard. We put a lot of stock on that in our culture. It can be a thing of pride, not being financial independent can be a thing of much shame. I have felt plenty of shame about that myself.
One day last summer after Paul lost his job, I was in my room angry cleaning. I was talking to Jesus, probably a bit angry there too, however, He's bigger than my anger and answered me anyway. Deep within my spirit I had such a strong sense that our next step was learning to live on faith. That did NOT inspire me! It filled me with dread! Great! I would NEVER have those things that I want! Ever! However, I knew with all that was in me that that voice was the Father's and His word is true.
We are approaching one year of Paul not working and having cancer, not knowing when he will be able to work again. We have been living on my wage, which is good, but not sufficient for our expenses. We also had insurance on our mortgage and loan, thankful we made that decision. Life still costs more. We have been subsidized by people who are giving, some from their overflow, some at cost to themselves. There is nothing so humbling as receiving the widow's mite.
Which brings me to my point, weekly, sometimes almost daily, I come face-to-face with a choice, do I receive this humbly or do I feel humiliated? Saying "thank you" and feeling like that suffices, that is hard. This is just for us. Just because we are in need. I have to make the choice to hold my head up and understand that this is charity in the best possible definition. Sometimes, I feel myself wanting to curl up and feel humiliated. How dishonouring would that be to those who give out of CHARITY, out of love and friendship?
We are completely stunned and overwhelmed by the charity of our people. Seeing a glimpse of how many lives we actually have touched and who have touched us. It is a very humbling thing. We are so grateful to each and every person who has given of themselves to care for us and support us, just because we are us! That's really big. It is so big my eyes overflow at the thought.
Recently someone asked me what my favorite Bible verse was. I'm not sure that I have one but if I do, chances are that it is the verse that my Oma had on her wall.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
Or as it read on her wall:
Ich hebe meine Augen auf zu den Bergen von welchen mir Hilfe kommt.
Meine Hilfe kommt von dem HERRN, der Himmel und Erde gemacht hat.
Nothing remains truer. All these people are simply the hands and feet of my help source.