Everyone likes to hear a compliment once in a while. To have someone say, "Atta boy." or "Atta girl." always lifts the spirit and brings a sense that one is actually not invisible and is in fact noticed and appreciated. I have heard a lot of compliments over my lifetime. Some have been sincere and some have been offered out of rote responses. "Oh pastor, such an inspiring message." "Pastor, I didn't hear the sermon you gave but your tie is beautiful."
The other day I was honored to bring worship to some people who have experienced emotional trauma and who have specific care needs. I was sitting in a small room waiting for the service to begin. John, Greta, and Mary (not their real names) were patiently waiting in their seats. I saw faces drawn from lack of sleep and bodies decimated by the daily turmoil of pain and confusion. These women and men are loved by God and need to know the grace of Jesus Christ is available to them as much as those who regularly attend a church worship service.
It is one of my favorite places to provide pastoral care and bring the love of Christ. I looked into each of their faces and smiled. I told them of God's desire for their healing and wholeness. Heads lifted up, faces broke out in thinly veiled smiles, and a sense of hope was instilled in each person.
Just then, I noticed a young man walk slowly by the open door. He paused, looked in, then kept walking. I thought about his life and how his struggles have brought him to this place. Then in the blink of an eye he reappeared and looked straight at me and said, "Light blue shirt and black tie makes you look like Enos from Dukes of Hazzard." with that he turned and was gone........
At first, I was speechless, then a bit confused. Now, having had a day and a half to ponder his words, I can say it is the best compliment I have ever received but not that I look like Enos from Dukes of Hazzard. I can appreciate the honest assessment of this young man's perceptions and can see he is one who has great powers of observation. He sees things others may miss and he is also confident enough to express his viewpoint with clarity and conviction.
"Give everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect,
then respect; if honor, then honor. (Love, for the Day Is Near) Let no debt remain outstanding, except the
continuing debt to love one another, for you who love your fellowman has fulfilled the law."
(Romans 13:7-8, NIV) [some pronouns have been changed from singular to collective]
[Photo of Enos from bing.com]
I didn't get a chance to converse with this fellow and will only know him by his perky smile and 'flattering' words. What I will treasure in my heart is his offering of insight toward me. Will you join with me as I continue to pray for healing on behalf of John, Mary, Greta, and Logan? I hope so! Today, be intentional about your observation skills, look for an open door to walk through and offer a compliment of love toward another. It may make their day and most assuredly with change your heart.
"A Musing Pastor"