Great Enough to Bend the Knee

John 13:1-17 (5)

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) took advantage of the possibilities post-civil war freedom offered.  He wrote five books, was an educator, orator and advisor to several US presidents.  He urged oppressed, discriminated, and disfranchised former slaves to avoid confrontation.  He argued instead, that the black people put their reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement among their people. 

One day he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Having never met Washington, she offered him a job making a few dollars chopping wood for her.  Washington smiled and accepted her offer to do the menial chore.  He chopped the wood, carried the logs into the house and stacked them by her fireplace.  At this time a young girl recognized him and told the wealthy lady who she had hired.

In embarrassment, the woman went to the Tuskegee Institute where he was the president.  She was ushered into his office and proceeded to apologize.  “It’s perfectly all right, Madam,” he replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend.”  His gracious and humble spirit won her heart.  As a result she became a catalyst in his fund raising events for the college.

We laud great personalities who bend the knee in humility, but none can rival our Lord who left the throne of glory to robe Himself in flesh so that He could show us how to live a life that would be pleasing to God.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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