But it felt like humiliation ...

The past six weeks have been replete with sorting, eliminating, packing and moving our stuff as Ann and I downsized from our home in the suburbs to our loft in downtown Kansas City. Along the way I have had two awkward experiences..
Several weeks back one of my neighbors offered himself and his truck to move a few pieces of furniture to my daughter's place. I gladly took him up on the offer. After we repositioned a piece of furniture in his truck I felt a twinge in my back as I was standing up.. within a few moments I was looking for the Tylenol (extra strength of course).. my back was in pain. Nevertheless macho Bob was pressing on until Mike (who is 69 years old) looked at me and said: "You need to just let me handle the rest of this". Ouch.. more than my back was now bruised.. it was humbling.. but it felt like humiliation.
My back has done pretty well since then.. a bit sore at times but nothing like that Sunday.. until Friday night that is.. and of course ..
Saturday morning I had a time set up to move a few things around with a guy at my storage unit in the basement/garage of my new place. I tried to contact him ahead of time to tell him about my back woes but could not reach him. When I met him at 10 yesterday morning I explained about my back to which he immediately told me that he would take care of it.. and he proceeded to go about doing all of the heavy lifting.. and I was very thankful.. albeit a bit humbled again.. not sure that he was older.. we were probably close in age.. either way it did not feel that I was humbling myself.. it felt like humiliation.. it is hard to stand by and watch a stranger (albeit a great one) do something for you when you planned on doing it yourself.
I think these are pretty common scenarios in the world of humility.. what we want is something that makes us feel good about humbling ourselves when in fact the things that make us feel good are probably more about stroking our ego than humility. Got to wonder if humiliation is the way that humility should feel.. to some degree anyway.. after all.. when the ego/pride in us dies it should probably hurt a bit. And like I often say.. in the spiritual life humility is simply not an option.. we either humble ourselves or someone will do it for us. ツ

...originally posted in July 2010.


  1. Fantastic, personal illustration of humility. I so hope your back is better now.

    Bob your posts are so inspiring, so real, so touching.

    Thanks for your faithful posting, look forward to it each day.

  2. Good thoughts. Maybe that's why those of us who are a bit older have those aches and pains - to make us humble. :)

  3. Yes It is pleasant to know that there are people who will do things for you and yet you know in your heart that all you can do is offer thanks.
    Remember too there were times in your life when you did that sort of thing for someone else older than yourself (that is how I imagine things to be with you, Bob).
    You could, if you so desire, to see this as an impression on how God cares for those he has created in his image.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with your world.

  4. I can certainly identify. I hope you're much better.

  5. I love the last line, "we either humble ourselves or someone will do it for us." Humiliation does not have to hurt, but the more we live in pride the more it does. I think my goal is to live a natural life of humility, because I think that is what Jesus did. Not sure if I am close yet...so I too will keep the Tylenol close at hand...

    Hope your back is better soon. Been there too.

  6. Bob,
    I hope you are feeling better soon. I'm sure you are used to being on the serving/helping side of life. However, you are also familiar with the struggle of those who live daily with disability. Pain and the ability to do things for oneself is incredibly frustrating, and as you said humbling.

  7. Thanks all for the comments and the well wishes. Still in pain today and doing my best to not agitate my back and further.. it is hard to stay still when there are things to do. :)

  8. but it wasn't humiliation. maybe pride :D

  9. @Rygel - Agree. Pride is the definitely the issue and humiliation the feeling associated.

  10. Bob hope your back is better....but without that experience....you could not have written such a moving, touching and meaningful post. This is excellent and something we should all ponder. Hugs. (Moving is not easy.....thankfully we've been here over a year now and all those horror stories of lugging furniture up a flight of stairs in just a memory.)

    1. You are such a blessing Wanda. I originally posted this in 2010 when we moved to our loft. My back has been bugging me of late and when I came across this old post and decided to repost. I so agree with you about moving though. Glad you have all settled in to your treehouse. ツ


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