Wednesday, 24 February 2016

40 Acts - Day 13:' Second Fiddle '

For some of us, relinquishing control and sacrificing our own agendas or plans is difficult.

It means that (a) we don't get our own way and (b) we have to trust someone else or put them first.

But practising playing second fiddle sometimes is important and generous: it shows the other person that you recognise their worth.

Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it. 
Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. 
Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. 
(Romans 12:10 The Message)

Fifteen years ago my husband and I visited Bangladesh with World Vision to meet our 11-year-old sponsor child in one of the world’s worst slums, on the edge of Dhaka. We were excited to meet her and confident about our role, which was to gather facts for a book that might encourage people to give and thereby improve conditions for some of the world's forgotten.

We loved the fact that to Jesus there were no unimportant people. However exhausted, however pressured by those in authority, he set aside his own needs to concentrate on whoever stood in front of him, showing respect and love for the marginalised, the children, the women and those who had physical problems which literally placed them out of bounds.

His example had been the solid ground on which we had tried to live our lives and perhaps we saw visiting Shanaj and her family as an opportunity to demonstrate this.

We had not anticipated a lesson in what that really means.

I had taken gifts, colourfully wrapped, and we had both imagined handing them over to Shanaj and her brother and sister. Pictured their eyes shining as they excitedly tore off the paper.

It wasn't like that. After politely thanking me they calmly placed the unwrapped parcels behind them, and returned their attention to us.

I panicked. Had I broken some cultural rule? Did they not like the colour of the wrapping paper?

Oh no, our translator explained, they will be wanting more than anything to open their presents, but they have been taught to value the giver more than the gift.

So here we had it. Three children, the poorest of the poor, setting aside their own agenda to show respect and love to us because at that moment they wanted to demonstrate that we were the most important people in their world.

Today's blog was written by Bridget Plass.

Find out more about her and support her chosen charity here.

To see today's challenge in full - Click HERE

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