Joni shares a story about a "Cinderella Ball" for students with mental and physical disabilities in Woodbridge, Virginia.
Something pretty special happened in Woodbridge, Virginia not long ago. A woman named Helen hosted a Cinderella Ball for students with mental and physical disabilities. Now you have to understand that this was the very first time any of these kids ever got to dress up and go anywhere. All the young girls were in beautiful frilly dresses from local stores and some volunteers from local hair and nail salons gave their time to spruce up all the ladies. But this is what I thought was really neat...
Helen invited young men from the Armed Forces - our nation's finest, the valiant soldiers in the military - she invited them to come and kneel down and shine the shoes of all the boys with mental and physical disabilities. Can you picture that? Can you imagine how those young people with disabilities felt? I mean, imagine yourself as a young kid with Down syndrome, and there, stooping beside you is a soldier in uniform with all his brass and military finery... there's that young military soldier humbling himself to shine your shoes. Talk about humility. Talk about getting beneath someone. And a kid with a mental disability, no less. I tell you, those young students were like Cinderellas and Cinderfellas at that ball.
When I learned that the soldiers shined the shoes of the boys with disabilities, I couldn't help but think of Jesus that night in the Upper Room. Can you picture that? Remember when he took off his robe, tied a towel around his waist, and went from one disciple to the next, picking up their feet and washing them. Can you imagine how the disciples felt?! Here was the Son of God stooping beside them... humbling Himself... getting beneath those disciples to - not shine their shoes - but wash their feet. No wonder Peter protested. But Jesus looked up into the faces of the disciples and said - and it's recorded in John 13:7- He said, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
And now, so many years later, Lord willing, we finally do understand. At least Helen in Woodbridge, Virginia understands. She knows - we should all know - that when the privileged and powerful drop to their knees, and when they condescend (I love that word; it means to lower yourself and get underneath of another), when Christians condescend to, as it were, wash the feet and shine the shoes of the lowliest among us... then we get the point our Savior was making that night in the Upper Room.
Today friend, would you please find a way to "condescend" to another... to lower yourself... get down... humble yourself... and serve that person in your community who is already pretty "low" on the totem pole of ministry priorities. And when you do, you just might find that you are the one wearing the glass slipper.
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