The last couple weeks have had ample time for me to catch up on the new Ducktales episodes, meaning season 2 and the Spring portion of season 3.
Episode 23 of season 2, titled “The Richest Duck in the World” showed us a danger in riches. In the previous episode Glomgold had managed to unite several of Scrooges enemies to help him win a bet that would gain him the forturne Scrooge had built. Louie tricked him into a partnership and since his name is phony, Glomgold lost…but Louie won both fortunes. All of the treasure, all of the companies, all of it.
Yet he did not know what awaited him. In order to pay for something, he stopped the cash flow for magical defenses on an island. Of course the trouble did come…and it came with a vengeance. That island housed a monster named The Bombie who always seeks out the richest duck in the world for what reason? To attack and destroy them, of course. Hey, he is a monster after all.
Bombie is a bit of a spoof on Solomon Grundy from DC Comics but also sometime acts a bit like the Hulk from Marvel comics. He comes from the old Scrooge McDuck comics but gets an updated look here to be more similar to a zombie.
Louie and his help fail to deal with the beast on the island and it follows them to Duckburg, where Scrooge has decided to earn his fortune again by cleaning shoes on the street. Of course he tells Louie something that he had not listened to before. A riddle. This riddle speaks of needing to earns something money can’t buy.
Louie takes a minute to think about it, and comes up with something: humility. He grabs Scrooges cleaning supplies and amidst the beat up street and vehicles, offers to clean the shoes of Bombie.
You can not buy humility. You have to earn it. You have to accept it by acting in service. If you have been going to church a while you will remember the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet. Maybe you even participated in a ceremony of washing each others feet. This ceremony exists as a moment of reflection and as a reminder. Washing someone’s feet in the old days was seen as a job for a slave or servant. The feet were dirtier in those days than our feet normally get nowadays (at least for most of us). The book of John records Jesus instructions and explanation after washing their feet.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.John 13:12-17
Humility is hard to accept and sometimes it is hard to get it correct. Sometimes we try to be humble and it is seen differently but others but in this season of change and fear and a year that feels like a DM is going crazy, we need humility.
After Louie cleans Bombie’s shoes, he walks away content and makes no leaves well enough alone. Louie had learned the lesson. No matter how rich you are, you are not above others. Maybe we need to learn that in other areas. No matter how smart I am, I am not above others. No matter which position I hold, I am not above others. If I’m the DM, I am not above the players. If I’m an artist, I am not above the customer. If I’m a customer, I’m not above the clerk, artist or housekeeper.
Whose feet will you clean tonight?