The Man Who Fell Down the Ladder


“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” John 4:23

One day I watched a man climb an exceedingly high ladder. I prayed for him briefly. He had a job to do. Painting. He needed to climb high. What a fall he might have taken! But he did not. Yet just hours later, I heard from a man who took an incredible fall down a ladder. You might be shocked to hear this. His fall was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

The American culture, and dream, seem all about climbing corporate ladders, building resumes, winning awards, getting job promotions, rising to the top of companies, climbing ever higher when it comes to financial success, clambering to the very top of corporations, always higher, seemingly better, in the world’s eyes anyway. But what about God’s?

The man who fell down the ladder, I met him at a church one day where he always walks inside barefooted. Then he hoots and hollers during praise and worship, usually one big holler, which always stands out because it’s a quiet congregation. He doesn’t do any of this to get attention. He clearly wants none of it. He’s just so in love with the Lord who delivered him from a sin-ridden life, from endless drugs and only God knows what else, from utter brokenness and hell itself, that He can’t hold himself back from worshiping God. Aloud. Loudly. Boldly. Which is exactly how he managed to fall down the ladder. The corporate ladder, that is.

I met him just weeks before leaving my life of comfort to go out on the road full time for the Lord and ministry. His wife had just finished treatment for major cancer. All I saw in them both was love and joy. Christ. This man gave up corporate success to take on a simple, humble job, ultimately desiring to be available as much as possible to head up a helps ministry whereby he goes out to people’s homes to help with whatever they need in the name of Christ. Like the house I left behind. Where for months with no pay he sweated in the southern heat to keep my huge yard looking pretty while the house sold as I began loving and serving the Lord full-time on the road. Not a penny he desired. Not an ounce of thanks he wanted. Instead, he prayed for me, he prayed for others. He humbly served. His wife labored in the yard alongside him the first time he came when he had no other help. Not a complaint from either of them. Just love and service. To the Lord. To a sister in the Lord.

He probably could have more and more money climbing the corporate ladder. Instead he fell all the way down it to his knees and humbly desires in Spirit and in Truth to love, worship, and serves the Lord God almighty forever. Humbling, and inspiring, is it not?

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