A great man is always willing to be little. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
As I type today’s entry, I’ve just returned home from church. As I sat listening to Fr. Hurley give his homily about the virtue of humility, I knew that was the Lord calling me to write about my aunt, Judy Langdon. She’s pictured below, at right (in green dress). I’ve got no idea why I have this photo or who’s in this shot with her, but I like it because it shows her warm smile and it even seems to convey one of the things I love about her– her beautiful humility.
Growing up, at each and every family event I attended, my Aunt Judy did something that I rarely noticed others doing. She always took a few minutes to sit down next to me and ask me very specific and pointed questions about my life. She wanted to know how my classes were going, and did I like my teacher. She quizzed me about the activities that I was interested in. She left me feeling like I mattered. I saw her do the same with my sister and my cousins too. In all those years, even as I grew and matured, this pattern of hers never changed. One would think that as I got older, I might have thought to turn to her and ask her a few questions too. I don’t think I did. Some of us like the sound of our own voice a tad too much, huh? Aunt Judy is a humble woman. She’s the embodiment of the famous quote by Rick Warren that says, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
At mass today, the gospel was the famous passage from Luke which deals with honor at a banquet. Jesus notices how people jockey for a seat of prominence, and then points out the most desperate scenario/outcome for those who are more about ego than humility– getting noticed for all the wrong reasons. His message is about taking the lowest place on purpose.
My Aunt Judy has never played the ego game. She’s a faithful, gentle, intelligent and godly woman. Also? She’s always had the most amazing green thumb! So many of the most beautiful plants in my own garden are from starts she shared with me. I regret now that I have never previously told her that her quiet kindness and dignity made a big impression on me over the years. Today, as I was listening at church, I realized it was time to correct course and thank her for her beautiful example.
This lovely woman has suffered tremendously in the past year since the tragic loss of her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. I know many of us, her family and friends, continue to keep her as well as my Uncle Roy and the rest of the family in our prayers. God is faithful, though, and His unconditional love lasts forever. I’d like to ask you today to please pray with me for their peace of mind and heart.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5