[He] emptied himself, taking the form of a servant… Phil 2:7a
On a field trip, my second grade class saw a dramatized version of Charlotte’s Web, the novel by E. B. White. Charlotte, the spider, is trying to save the life of Wilbur, a runt pig. She exhausts herself by spinning words into her web: “some pig,” “terrific,” “radiant,” “humble.” She dies after she has laid her 514 eggs but, because of all the attention given to her extraordinary web, Wilbur lives.
The next day, the children were talking about the play. “Charlotte sacrificed her life for Wilbur,” said one. “No,” I told them. “She was nearing the end of her life. She was going to die after she laid her eggs, no matter what.” “Well, then, she sacrificed her strength for him. She loved him and did what she could for him.” Yes, that was it exactly. Charlotte couldn’t take the axe from the farmer’s hand, but she did what she could for Wilbur.
I ask myself, “Who gets that kind of love from me? For whom am I willing to sacrifice my strength? And who sacrifices their strength for me?”
Prayer: O God of power and weakness, move me to spend my strength in care for others. Open my heart to the love given to me. Amen.
Deaconess Karen Burgess-Cassler, Vancouver, WA