It was a very special dinner date. Perfect in every way imaginable. The tables were dressed in fine white linen and there were far more utensils than one could ever use. I felt a bit like Julia Roberts in the movie, “Pretty Woman”, trying to remember which fork was for which food. The atmosphere was full of romance as my husband and I gazed at each other speaking words of love. I was a bit distracted pretending to be comfortable in this exquisite setting, but deep inside just feeling like the small town schoolgirl.
And then it happened.
I set my cup on the edge of the saucer spilling coffee all the way across the table into my husband’s space. He quickly snatched my cup and replaced it with his full cup of coffee. I stared in wonder as he called for the waitress asking for help. He proceeded to apologize for his spill and requested she please bring him a fresh cup. Smiling at me, he simply returned to our romantic conversation, as if nothing had happened
Yes, I was paralyzed in amazement. What just happened?
Somehow my extreme embarrassment was miraculously turned into extreme honor. What took place in my heart felt like a water to wine miracle. You know the story where the wedding party ran out of wine. (John 2:1-11) This was the ultimate embarrassment for the party host, but Jesus stepped in before anyone knew and transformed the jugs of water into the best wine. Instead of embarrassed, the host was greatly admired that he saved the best until last.
I too experienced a transformation. That evening is red flagged in my memory as one of the times that I felt most loved and honored. My husband knew my embarrassment and quickly took it as his own. He preferred my feelings above his own. It was obvious that he actually delighted in taking credit for my mishap.
If Paul had known my Ed, I think he would have used this as an illustration in his teaching on humility and preferring others above yourselves.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
The Passion Translation expresses well what I experienced.
“Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests.”
Most of us don’t like our mistakes, preferring to look good to others in every way. It’s the reason we wear masks and build facades around our lives. We look out for number one, while scripture calls us to live being number two. What if we lived looking for ways to honor others: snatching cups of mistakes and replacing them with cups of love, grace, and honor.
This dinner took place many years ago and as hard as I have tried, I cannot recall where it was or what I was wearing. I don’t know the year, the restaurant or even the state we were in, but I have never forgotten what love and honor feels like.
Honor creates a miracle.
It puts someone else above and treats them with the worth that God places on every human. Honor calls one to rise up in God-given worth. I feel challenged to look for ways to live like Christ, taking the lower seat, bearing others' mistakes, and pouring out crazy love.
Let’s make a spectacle of His great love. This will astound the world. You don’t have to march to make a statement, just cover a spill. Speak up for the washed up and burned out. Build up what has been torn down. Speak life into the dead. Be a part of the transforming miracle.
Lord I want to love like that. #iamnumber2
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.” John 13:35