My grandmother was something else. And all of her life, it was apparent to the rest of us that she had a favorite. She loved us all, but her son David, my uncle, was her favored son. She denied it, but we all knew it – all in good fun.
The best part for me was that most of the family would often say I reminded them of David. I could never quite see it, but everyone else did. Especially my Mom.
In the last two years of her life, my grandmother suffered the after effects of a stroke that took much of her memory. And toward the end, she would rarely recognize even my mother, who had become her primary care giver.
One day, my mom was taking me to the facility that was caring for my grandmother as she neared the end of her life. Mom prepared me, “She probably won’t recognize you. She hasn’t recognized anyone for quite a while. Don’t expect much of a conversation.”
But I was optimistic. I had spent a great deal of time with her. Surely she would know me. As I entered the room, my grandmother just lit up! She was so excited to see me. She couldn’t wipe the grin off her face. She kept reaching out for a hug and saying how glad she was I came. She kissed my cheek over and over. And I told my mom – I believe she knows who I am!
To which my mom replied, “Get over yourself. She thinks you’re David.”
And sure enough, about that time, my grandmother said, “Thank you, David, for coming to see me!”
Humility is a dish best served cold.
It occurs to me, as we lead the worship of God’s Church, we would do well to remember the glory of those moments has nothing to do with us. When it sounds great and the people engage – when the response is glorious and the impact on lives is visible – and when the testimonies flow freely of how God is using our ministry to bless the congregation – well, it can be very easy to feel like we really matter.
And if that is you, I want to draw you back to the wisdom of my mom.
Get over yourself.