Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Rev. Dr. Gary Kindley
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Ephesians 4:14-15 Living Bible (TLB)
Years ago, my young sons noticed that when we would dine out, I would often refer to whomever our server was by name. “Why do you do that?” they asked. “Isn’t that sort of personal, like you know them?”
“How do you feel when someone calls you by name?” I replied. “Doesn’t it seem more caring, that someone would notice your name on your name tag or the bill at the end of the meal and make the effort to call you by name?” Thus a new conversation began that I hope they’ve carried with them on their journey.
We live in a world where it is easier to treat others as nameless strangers (or worse, objects) rather than as fellow human beings on life’s journey. The Internet and social media make this even more of a concern.
On this National Compliment Day, consider being kind and expressing appreciation. Notice someone’s courtesy, professionalism, or kindness and reinforce it with a compliment. Offer gratitude for someone who might be overlooked as merely an object. Compliment or thank the person at the service counter, the teller at the bank, your server at lunch, the valet who parks your car, the teenager at the fast-food drive-thru, the neighbor whom you pass, the person who holds the door/elevator for you, or even the police officer who issues you a citation (It indeed takes a holy perspective for that last one!).
When the Apostle Paul told the Christian community at Ephesus to, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy. . .” he wasn’t asking people to be perfect. No one is. We CAN be kind and thoughtful and treat others on the journey as we would want to be treated. That is a holy and sacred gift and action worthy of a follower of Jesus.
God who is ever aware, help me to do a better job of noticing others today. May I see past the role or function that someone has and recognize the sacred human being whom they are. Amen.