It happened like this...
I'm not one for vacations. I like what I do. I like everything I do, so it rarely ever feels like work. If you never actually "work", why do you need a vacation? This seemed like the time, though, so I booked my reservations. No one was more surprised than me.
I announced at the Board of Aldermen meeting that I was going to the Bahamas with Ryan for spring break, and again there was considerable surprise. Afterwards, Jan (our city clerk), asked about the trip. I explained that my cousin is a music professor at the College of the Bahamas and she and two other professors were doing a concert. "No way!" she said. "I had a cousin who was a musician in the Bahamas. She had cancer and died, but she and her husband were both musicians there." I had visions of a reggae band. Silly me! She told me her cousin's first name, but that meant nothing to me.
Over the next few days, my cousin and I corresponded. She talked about her album and the upcoming concert. Her fellow professors and their producer would all be there. As she told me about each person, I thought, "How odd! This producer's wife who died has the same name as Jan's cousin!" Yes. In one of those very crazy divine orchestrations masquerading as a coincidence, they were one and the same.
Jan told me about him. She had met him once. "He's the nicest, kindest man. He took great care of my cousin when she was sick." Somehow, Jan's description didn't seem to fit my idea of a rock and roll record producer. Like any internet-savvy writer, I turned to Google. Yep. Legend and Icon. Here's what's really unexpected. Jan didn't know. Her cousin was married to this amazingly talented and successful man, yet her family saw only his kindness. What a wonderful recommendation!
I was leery when my cousin emailed to say that she and her buddies were picking us up at the airport. When they pulled up, Mr. Legend was driving. I was shocked. You may well imagine what I expected, but immediately it was apparent that my expectations were totally off the mark. Hugs were exchanged all around and I began to see the most humble, kind man I've ever known. There was no errand too menial for him to run. There was no help he was unwilling to offer. I, who love music but am no performer, was treated as one of the crowd. Now, you might expect that treatment, since I was the family of a performer, but he treated everyone we saw in exactly the same way.
Every time I've spoken with him, the word that comes to mind is HUMILITY. He might be shocked, but the other word that comes to mind is MOSES. How crazy that sounds, I know, but Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth. This overwhelming humility makes me want to be just like him. I want that extreme kindness born of true humility that I see in him. It has driven me to Scripture, and I've found a few verses that speak to this humility in a way I never could.
He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. (Psalms 25:9 NASB)
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14:11 NASB)
When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2 NASB)
Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4 NASB)
I have been in the presence of greatness, and it has nothing at all to do with rock and roll, engineering, or record producing. This greatness is born of God and planted deep in the heart of a man I may never see again. I'm stunned by the appearance of this untiring humility. I didn't know it looked like this. I want it for myself. Scripture makes it clear that you can choose humility. I must. You must. We must. We could change the world if we saw it through these humble eyes. When we finally do, we will.
Teach us, Lord Jesus. Plant it deep in our hearts. Let humility take root and blossom in us and in our loved ones in such an extravagant bouquet that all who see will recognize Your humility in us.