Friends from Wisconsin visited us earlier this week. Both contend with MS. This two level house is imposing to someone who needs a scooter to get around, but as they help each other up and down the stairs the house is filled with laughter and jokes about whether or not I should video tape them. Where do they get their optimistic attitude?
While discussing the sacraments and communion Amy told us how much she appreciated her pastor. She said he brings the elements of communion to those in the congregation who have difficulty coming up front with the rest of the congregation. I like that.
It reminded me of the snow storm of December 2008. This was a big deal for the Portland area. Remember how the news cameras would video tape the cars sliding down the hills into one another? How come they didn’t warn folks before they damaged their cars? Of course that wouldn’t be news.
Lily and I were at our Tigard Les Schwab to get chains. We stood in line for maybe thirty minutes only to find they did not have our size. Bummer, however, we had the opportunity to observe a young worker exercising random acts of kindness. First, a fellow worker gave a customer the wrong information. The young man corrected the situation, but when the customer complained and asked why the woman behind the counter gave him the wrong information in the first place, the young many did not do the all too familiar. Instead, he said she was probably just trying to help.
Now he had my attention. I watched him as he weaved between frustrated customers. He called a customer’s name, but when he saw the elderly man was sitting and having trouble getting to his feet he called out, “Stay where you are and I will come to you.”
Is this a small thing? I know the impact Amy’s pastor’s kindness had on her, but was this young man’s kindness any different? Whether we are serving the elements of communion or finding someone tire chains, thoughtfulness and kindness are the same wherever we find them. Aren’t we all just a little happier when we see someone being ‘nice’ to someone else?
If you have been reading with me you already know that taking classes from Chuck Conniry and Katie Skurja convinced me it isn’t what you say, it’s what you do. I’ll go further, it isn’t what you believe, but what you do.
Praxis is the theology of the author of the book of James as well as the point of many of the New Testament parables. Why do waste so much rhetoric? My old football coach used to say, “Enough, just do it.”