Wednesday, February 6, 2013
When was the last time you touched someone deeply?
Many people, including the Pastor who spoke at the pre-inaugural worship service mentioned President Obama's visit with the families of the Newton tragedy as such a moment. The President had each of the 20 families who suffered loss in a different room at the school. He spent time with each family to encourage and console them.
Any Pastor who has had to be there for a family that has experienced death, especially tragic and unexpected death of this sort would have an idea of how draining and demanding that experience would be. Now multiply that 20 times over and you have an idea of how demanding that experience was for him.
Consider that no one would have said anything if he had spoken to them as a group. No other president had ever done anything comparable and it was not lost on the families. Those who were in tune with the news can recall some of the comments the families made.
One that sticks out is when they said, “He made us feel like a person.” Not just a group of bereaved people but as a person.
When was the last time you cared enough to make someone say, you made them feel like a person or you made them feel important, or you touched them in a special way?
Many people might respond by saying they do not have the opportunities that the president has to touch people in that way. But, that is hardly true. We probably come in contact with more hurting, tired, and suffering people on a personal level than does the President.
After all, the people around him most of the time cannot be remotely described in that way.
We have an opportunity or opportunities everyday to touch someone's life in some way that will make a difference if we choose to take the time to do it.
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less than it does today, a little boy entered a coffee shop and sat down. The waitress, realizing that this was not going to be a big tipper, came over, put down a glass of water in front of the little boy and walked away.
A little while later she came back and asked him how might she help him. The little boy asked her how much it was for an ice cream sundae. She told him 50 cents. The boy reached in his pocket and emptied all his change on the table and started counting.
The waitress was beginning to get impatient because other customers were waiting. “Well how much is it for just a plain ice cream?” he asked the waitress. “Thirty-five cents,” the waitress answered brusquely.
“I guess that is all I can have then,” said the little boy.
The waitress brought him his ice cream. He finished it, paid the cashier and left. The waitress came back to the table to wipe it down. But what she saw brought tears to her eyes. On the table was a 15 cents tip left by the little boy. The reason he could not have the 50-cent sundae and had to settle for a plain ice cream was because he wanted to leave a tip for the waitress. That is uncommon kindness.
Go out this week and touch somebody's life in an uncommon way.