Cross Out the I
When a revival came to the Congo, Helen Roseveare, a medical doctor, held herself a little aloof. After all, she was the missionary and she was supposed to have it all together. She had served God in Africa for four years, but she had not come to the place where she was able to let God have total, complete control of every area of her life.
One day after Helen had been up almost all night and the next day was making rounds, a nurse made a mistake. Helen got very cross and scolded the nurse harshly. Her African resident, John Medinga, looked at her as they walked out of the ward and he said, "I do not think Jesus would have responded that way."
Helen said that an arrow from the Holy Spirit went into her heart and she knew that he was absolutely right, but her pride kept her from apologizing. She went home thinking, "I'd been up all night. What else could you expect? I'm only human?"
But she couldn't sleep, so the next morning, she apologized. "I'm very sorry, because you weren't at fault. I was very tired, and I am so sorry for sinning against you in my anger. Please forgive me." And the presence of Jesus and the joy came back to that ward. But there were still things in Helen's heart she needed to deal with, and John Medinga said, "I think you need to go for a retreat."
She bicycled to a pastor's home. He said, "Helen, go in that room and don't come out until God's done something new in your heart." She stayed there all day Friday and Saturday. Sunday afternoon she came out feeling she was getting no where.
Helen sat by the fireside with that African pastor and he drew in the sand by the fire a big 'I'." Then he said "Helen, there's so much of you that I cannot see Jesus, nor can anyone else. Jesus came so that He could cross out that I and put the mark of the cross on our lives, so people no longer see us but see Him.
"You drink a lot of coffee. Every time you take that coffee cup in your hand, as you are carrying it around in the wards, pray this prayer, 'Not I, but Christ.' They knelt by the fire and Helen confessed in front of that African pastor her hardness of heart, her spiritual pride, her busyness, and her self-will. The Spirit and presence of Jesus came and filled Helen Roseveare's heart.
She bicycled back to the compound Monday morning, and as she was getting off the bike, John Medinga said, "Praise God, everybody, Jesus has met the doctor!"
Helen asked, "How do you know? I haven't said a thing."
He said, "You don't have to say anything, your face glows."
Reveal to us, dear Lord, all in our lives that hinders others from seeing You.
"I have been crucified with Christ, and I [fill in your name] no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
*Story told by Beth Coppedge in a Titus Bible study.