A man dropped in to read my articles on Joan Sepp. His reason for visiting was the recent death of Joan’s husband, Toivo. (Joan passed away a few years ago.) He wrote this –
I had a hard childhood and was often upset when I delivered the newspaper (to the Sepp home). On the days when I was most alone, one of them often met me at the door and chatted with me. I can’t even count the number of times I didn’t do something rash because these strong people had taken time to speak with me.
This caused me to think about the “invisible” people who cross our paths each day. They serve us in restaurants, grocery stores and banks. They deliver mail, parcels, newspapers and fliers, fill our gas tanks, pour our coffee, clean our messes and repair our stuff. They take our complaints, reduce our phone bills, ask us to please subscribe to their magazine, offer us deals on this and that, tempt us to buy chocolate bars and cookies. Mostly, they are front-line people who serve. They don’t control their product. But, often we act like they do.
Jesus was always mindful of individuals whether he found them in the synagogue, begging on the street, fetching water, tending sheep, fishing or collecting taxes. He looked past their duties. He spoke to the person behind the job. And because of His approach, lives changed for the good. People realized they mattered to God, that they weren’t invisible.
This reader’s comment has stirred me. It has reminded me that it really matters how I treat people, whether I meet them face to face, on-line or talk to them on the phone.
I’ve pledged to be kinder. If a busy man like Jesus always found time for people, can’t I do the same?
Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed . . . Acts. 10:38
Joan and Toivo Sepp lost two children to murder. They suffered many dark days, yet they took time to notice and talk to a lonely paper boy. Their noticing made a difference in his life. “After everything that happened to them,” my reader says, “they still had time for a chubby kid delivering the paper.”
Making it Personal: Lord, forgive me for not following your example of showing kindness to every human being who crosses my path. Make me alert and mindful to do better.
My book, One Good Word Makes all the Difference, is available here.