I sometimes wonder how folks going about their daily routines might be waiting for the moment(s) when they could be known for who they really are. What thrives under their workplace exteriors. What they’re good at doing. What benefits they bring to the rest of us. How they live out their best selves. (An Advent theme, perhaps?)
In that frame of mind, it isn’t too hard to imagine and value people’s circumstances: Landscape workers finishing the last of their summer/autumn roles. Cheerful-but-anonymous checkout clerks at the market. Law enforcement officers patrolling this neighborhood. Bundled-up souls waiting for their next bus. Moms/dads taking their stroller-encased infants for an early winter walk. Carpenters (re)shaping repair-ready or new homes. Food bank volunteers providing food—and hope—to their clients. Skilled tradespersons on their way to fix broken roads, water and heating systems, or telecommunications infrastructures.
When I empathize with people like this, I see individuals who might be ready or eager to engage in more than polite conversations—opening up, providing inspiration and fueling hope. (Another Advent gift waiting to be unwrapped?)
Jesus was the kind of person who could strike up an enjoyable and appreciative conversation with anyone, so my meandering curiosity settles onto a necessary “So what?” question: “If you can imagine possibly admirable qualities in people, what does that kind of thinking make you want to do, Bob?”)
My answer remains the same: When I talk to people, I will ask appreciative questions! The good that God grows inside others can be revealed when people like me invite it to come out of hiding. Because the wealth of God’s gifts is waiting to be known, I will begin conversations like those Jesus modeled. And I’ll thank God for sending Jesus to love and know us completely!!
Definitely some Advent themes…!
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