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An Easter Reflection
April 1, 2018 @ 12:22 PM by: Richard Steinecke

There is a world of difference between humility and humiliation. While we don’t like to emphasize it, Jesus death involved the intentional infliction of extreme humiliation. His leadership was mocked by the Roman soldiers with a purple robe and a crown of thorns. The crowds taunted him during the entire experience, accusing him of being a phoney and daring him to prove otherwise. He likely was naked when he was crucified, which a recent writer has characterized as deliberate sexual humiliation (something many women have experienced in their own way).

As much as we try to mitigate it, undoubtedly many of our community members feel humiliated when they visit us. It is not just the fact they are compelled to visit us, but also having to follow all of the rules and procedures set up to make the food bank fair (e.g., limiting how much of each item they can take or having to choose between eggs or meat). And a visit to Oasis is probably just one example of humiliation they experience multiple times a day (e.g., their appearance, their inability to join the omnipresent consumer culture, their limited opportunity to contribute).

Staff and volunteers occasionally suffer humiliation as well, such as when a community member attacks their best efforts as insulting or when a community member has an emotional outburst directed at the staff member or volunteer. As much as that humiliation stings, it is trivial compared to the humiliation experienced by some of our community members on a daily basis, or by Jesus during the Easter season. Jesus’ patience, other-concernedness, and compassion in the face of his utter humiliation is a good example for us all.

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