‘I am among you as one who serves’ (Luke 22:27)
Albert Schweitzer was a man with a strong intellect, and great musical gifts. One day, he was reflecting on his fortunate life in Europe. He thought of his considerable mental facility, his many privileges in education and the arts. He asked himself: "Why do I have so much, while others do not?" he could only think of one answer: "I have been given these gifts in order to serve my fellow man." Then and there he vowed and ideal of service. Service became the law of his life. He went to Africa as a missionary doctor.
Here is how he describes one moment in his years of service: "The operation is finished in the dimly lighted dormitory. I watch for the sick man to wake. Scarcely has he recovered consciousness, when he stares about him and exclaims again, and again, 'I have no more pain; there is no more pain.' His hand feels for mine, and will not let it go. Then I begin to tell him, and others there, that it is the Lord Jesus that has told the doctor to come here.
The African sun is shining through the coffee bushes into the dark shed. But we, black and white, sit side by side, and feel that we know by experience, the meaning of the words, 'you are all brethren.' Would that my generous friends in Europe would come out here with me and live through one such hour!"