These words, heard over and over during my time working as a “Leader in Training” (LT) at Solid Rock Bible Camp, were used by a camper who really did not know how to take care of herself. No one in her life had ever taken the time to teach her basic personal hygiene.
This young person had a heart that was so tender. However, it appeared that people around her had a difficult time getting to know her because she smelled funny. At camp I was put in charge of her. She had the beginning stages of MRSA and needed help cleaning herself. It was my job to help her take a shower, get dressed, brush her hair, and enjoy herself. I discovered quickly that there was very much gold in her when I was able to get beyond the smell. I was able to help a person that people considered a “social outcast” in very significant ways, and I am very glad about that. During that week, my picture of a leader or someone who helps dramatically changed.
Some people think that a real leader is someone who is on a stage directing with a microphone, telling people to do this and that. I believe that a true leader is someone willing to be a servant and do the dirty work. A leader is someone who works alongside others, helping people and working harder than anyone else, even if it goes unnoticed. A true leader is someone who leads by example.
I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet that little girl. I hope I made a difference in her life because I know she changed mine!