Booker T. Washington was a fine Christian, and also the first American Negro to become the principal and president of an American University. It was the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
One day Mr. Washington was walking in a rich part of town when he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing that he was an important principal of a large University she asked him if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her. Professor Washington had no other business to do at the time, so he humbly agreed to do what the lady wanted. He smiled, rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to do the lowly work of chopping wood. When he was finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace. There was no one around at the time, so he went his way without being paid for his labour, but not before a little girl recognized him. She later said to the wealthy lady, “Why was Professor Washington cutting wood for you?” She was stunned.
The next morning the woman, feeling most embarrassed, went to see Professor Washington in his office at the Institute and apologized profusely. “It’s perfectly all right, Ma’am,” he replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labour. Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend.” She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his meek and gracious attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart. Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading some wealthy acquaintances to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute.
Booker T. Washington was willing to take a lowly place to help someone, and we can learn a great deal from his meekness. But there is so much more we can learn from our Lord Jesus Christ, who being the ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords’, took a lowly place, in order to bear away our sins. As the Bible says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”