So I was traveling to Washington D.C. via the Amtrak, as I have no car, and I was absolutely struck by this guy who looked about college age and was also waiting for the train. He wore a brown leather jacket and looked as cool as one can look while sitting with one’s bag at a train stain at 6AM in the morning.
Anyway, what struck me about him was not any part of that vague physical description, it was instead what he did as we were both waiting.
Our departure platform was on the second floor of the building and, when this gentleman saw several middle-aged and older ladies making slow progress up the stairs with their respective bags, he went down the stairs to meet them half way and politely asked if he could carry their bags the remainder of the way up the stairs for them. The ladies were absolutely touched by his assistance and accepted the offer with flattered thanks. He, in turn, accepted their thanks with a humble nod and when he placed their bags at the top of the stairs he wished them a pleasant trip. He repeated this process so many times I lost count.
And as I was sitting there watching this unfold I finally understood something straight out of Mark 10:43 when all the disciples are discussing who is the greatest and they receive this answer,
Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant
I hear a lot in the news about these raging debates regarding what it truly means to be a man and what it truly means to be a woman. However, in my opinion, none of it ever gets anywhere close to the truth. Because in my mind, the truth is as simple as the above gospel quote. That the greatest man or woman is the one who serves everyone entrusted into their care and even those who are not, such as strangers who struggle with their baggage.
And in a world where everyone talks about influencing millions and having an exciting, fulfilling career in order to buy lots of things, I wanted to pay tribute to the young man who did not forget that sometimes the best way to lead is not through a social movement or a well-stated opinion but by example, because when I saw him I remembered something I all too often forget. And for that, I owe him my thanks.