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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Don't forget to show your blisters.

Don't forget to show your blisters.

J. Oswald Sanders, the prominent Christian leader who died a couple of decades ago, tells the story of Frederick Booth-Tucker. It seems Frederick was a judge with the Indian Civil Service and on the rise in that position. But, after deciding to follow Christ, he became frustrated with his work and was seeking more. He resigned and joined the Salvation Army in India--a place whose language he knew and whose culture he understood. Despite his commitment and his great effort, he could not break through to the people he was attempting to reach. So, he and another Salvation Army worker decided to take on the role of holy men there in that country. They traded their western clothes for robes and got rid of their shoes. Using only a small bag and a "beggar's bowl", the two set out across the country living off of the generosity of people. The roads they traveled were rocky and scorching hot in the Indian heat and it wasn't long before their feet were covered with blisters.

Upon reaching one particular town, they attempted to talk with the village leaders. They were greeted coldly and basically sent away empty handed. Too tired to go further that day, Booth and his friend laid down beneath a tree to nap before they began again.

When they awoke, they were surrounded by villagers. The people began to apologize profusely for their behavior and offered them food and water. The leader explained to Booth. "As we came to get closer to you while you slept, we noticed the blisters on your feet. We did not realize you were holy men. We did not know that you had walked the journey we have walked."

Booth gained instant respect with the people he was attempting to reach. In the weeks to follow, he would gain their friendship and trust, eventually leading over 25,000 to accept Christ.

Don't hide your blisters. The journey you are walking now may leave the very scars that will open doors to others. Always remember that, in Christ, no pain is wasted and no trial is without purpose. God may be refining your heart and your story so that many more may come to know His hope. Whatever you do, don't hide your blisters.

1 comment:

Michael and Traci said...

I take it by quoting J.Oswald that you have read his book Spiritual Leadership - SO GOOD. if you haven't do, it is a must read for any staff or lay people you have. Love keeping up with you this way!