Things are not always what they seem. We may notice somebody who comes across as bright, spunky and full of life and little do we know that this individual is deeply struggling with internal issues that make living each day a true challenge! We encounter a crotchety and miserable person who complains constantly while standing in line at the local convenience store and we quickly assume them to just be a total jerk who is wearing their underwear bunched up way too tight. Could there be a story behind those glaring eyes that we purposely try to avoid making any contact with? I propose that it doesn’t take a Colombo or Sherlock Holmes for that matter to dig deeper to get to the actual tale that might be discovered just a notch below the surface. Maybe it is just that the Human Race is a tad too busy running at about a 100 MPH that makes us settle for the sloppy circumstantial evidence presented and forces us to report a final verdict that just begged us to do a little bit more. If we just did our due diligence alone, we could have eliminated any shadow of doubts that remain in a number too big to ignore.
You might conclude that this is the most connected generation that ever graced Planet Earth and I would argue that you would be very wrong. Social Media does not take the place of heart to heart communication. Do you know how much you can learn about another by simply looking in their eyes alone? When you ask the obligatory question, “How Are You?” do you ever sense your radar kicking in when you hear a reply of, “I’m Fine,” that doesn’t quite add up? I think the problem might be that not enough people care to stick around for the actual answer anyway. Truth gets buried in a masquerade of polite texts that dance through the minefield without ever having to acknowledge the big old elephant that is stark naked in the room!
I have the privilege and honor to Pastor a wonderful church. The Lighthouse has become way more than a job for me. Those who attend there are truly my family! But I know that there are still so many that hardly know me and I them. Name tags aren’t enough. Exchanging e-mail addresses won’t do it. If I had my way, I would freeze frame time and stop the clock so that we could be able to go around the sanctuary and share stories that mean something. I would want to know what makes you tick and hear a few of those life changing experiences that helped make and mold who you are today. I long for those around me to know who I really am! I laugh when I hear somebody refer to me using terms that couldn’t be more wrong! I want to educate them but I don’t think they have enough patience for me to set the record straight. The Bible challenges us to, “Love One Another!” But, how can you love somebody you hardly know? The Lord must have more in store for those willing to excavate the mine for pure gold and not just settle for the Dollar Store trinkets!
I guess I never heard anyone say, “Let’s Kill Them with Ignorance!” I believe the right phrase that finishes that sentence is the word “Kindness.” In the original language the word means: goodness, excellence and uprightness. It begins with respect. It leads with love. It makes the priority the relationship over the selfish need to use another for your own personal gain. Its foundation is to respond with an unconditional reply of grace no matter how terse the grenade of displeasure may be tossed at you. It is to operate in the big picture without getting sideswiped by an uncomplimentary painter. It is to stay focused on the horizon without getting swallowed by the unfair immediate. It is all about a commitment to going the distance to receive an accurate understanding of what is really going on when the temptation to settle for the shady shortcut is all too easy to do. How well do you know who you say you know? What have you used as the main source of information? Have you come upon it honestly or via the tainted grapevine of gossip? How would things be different if you took the lead and set the pace of this Human Race rather than made another excuse to become the victim of circumstances?
Here’s your assignment. Make the first move to build another up before life tears them down. Go out of your way today to open the door to kindness. Weigh your words carefully and make sure your sentences are dripping with life verbs and not critical adjectives. Keep it real as nobody needs another phony. But how might things actually change if you allowed God to fill your heart first so that he may spill you later to bless the others who cross your path the rest of the day? Initiate positive action rather than just contemplating later what you could have done earlier. It’s the time of the season for love and if society is going to hear the music of heaven, then you must volunteer yourself as an instrument in God’s orchestra! It is about time we kick the same old song out of the number one spot! But if it is to be, it’s got to begin with you and me and I’m game. How about you?