Greatness in Disguise

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.
You CAN be that servant.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.

I love this statement by Dr. King, because I see it lived out in so many places. Serving often comes from a compelling desire to make something better—right now. Recently, one of our team went to Tractor Supply to buy a replacement for her property’s front gate, which had broken in half. The store had a 16′ gate in stock at a great price. There was just one small problem. The 16′ gate had to travel home in the back of a short-bed (5′) pickup. Fortunately she always carries straps, so the store associate helped strap it down, but he wasn’t satisfied that was going to be enough. He took two more straps from his own truck and further secured the gate. He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t know if he’d ever get those straps back. But he saw a way to serve and he did.

The desire to make things better is what launched our effort to cure Chagas disease. I was frustrated that our first patient died and frustrated that there was no way to prevent it. I hit nothing but dead ends looking for answers. Until God’s still small voice offered me a simple choice—you can just let it go and chalk it up to “an incurable disease” and someone else will find a cure. Or you can serve, starting with what you do have. The choice was easy.

The journey? Not so much. I can make subjects and verbs agree, and I know a little about physics but that wasn’t much help here. I didn’t know where to even start to develop a drug. I had no idea how to get a drug through the FDA. There was no roadmap. It didn’t matter. God has revealed and supplied everything we’ve needed—one step at a time and only just in time. Much of what we’ve needed has been—and continues to be—supplied through people being willing to serve right where they are with what they have. There’s greatness all around. It’s just disguised as service.

Roy Madigan, DVM