Sunday, November 17, 2019

Reflections from the Home Team - November 17, 2019

“And that’s the point of being considerate and kind -- it’s not the content of the answer, it’s the intention. As author Ian MacLaren shares; Be kind, for every man is fighting a hard battle.”

Greetings from Cedar Falls,

The Holiday season is fast approaching and I can’t help but notice the rush everyone appears to be in… I was taking a short lunch break from driving recently, and while waiting in line to be served at a local restaurant, there was an elderly lady just in front of me.  She seemed a bit confused as she reached into her purse and was fumbling around to find enough money to pay the worker at the counter for her meal.

Then, as she was leaving with her food, her large purse began to fall off her shoulder and she nearly lost all her food while trying to open the door to leave. She was mumbling to herself about how she was going to get to her vehicle while shifting from side to side, balancing her food and her purse while trying to exit the restaurant. Though I’d just finally reached the front of the line, seeing this elderly lady going through this, I felt the spirit tap me on my heart, telling me to shift from my momentary schedule and assist her.

I walked to the door and said “Here, let me get that for you,” as I held the door open and steadied her drink, I asked “Would you like me to carry your food to your car?” She stopped and looked up at me with gratefulness. “Oh, dear ‘young man’ (made my day) … you must have a grandmother still living that you’re being so kind to an old woman.” I responded, “No ma’am, I don’t,” I just felt it was the right thing to do to help you. It’s how my mother brought me up and certainly what the Lord would have us do for each other.”

Her face softened and she shook her head and said “Of course! You people have always been so helpful to me. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” By “you people” I’m pretty sure she meant, “you Christians.”
It reminded me of an expression one of my favorite coaches used to use all the time…” More is caught than taught.” How true that is, and it demonstrated to me that people are watching. What do they see? Do they see us being considerate in all we do? Unfortunately, I’m sad to report from what I’ve witnessed, probably not.

I know followers of Jesus — and I count myself in particular — don’t always portray to others the considerate and loving ways of Christ, as urged in Philippians 4:5. “Let everyone see you are considerate in all you do.  The Lord is near.” But we can do better! We need to remember that people are watching our behavior. If all they see are uncaring or condemning Christians, why would they want to become one?

I truly think most of us have empathy for others who may be struggling with one thing or another. It's one thing to harbor a sense of empathy and another to put it into action. Considerate people are not only capable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes, they also actively choose to view the world beyond themselves. No one will ever understand the perspective of another unless they take that person’s hand and consider things from their perspective.

As we channel our sense of empathy and consider how others around us are feeling, we need to choose to act on that information. You never know, simply by asking someone how they're doing -- regardless of its impact on your life – it could do wonders for their mood and self-esteem as well as your own! (Please note - I haven’t been called ‘young man’ in quite a while).

Next time you get into the elevator and you have 10 seconds to make a good impression, or just remain quiet and look at your cell phone, I think if you should ask, 'How is your day?' just to be nice, that’s being considerate. Let’s face it… do you really want to know how that person’s day is going? Is it something that would add to or change your life? Especially if that person is a stranger? Probably not, you just ask the question because you want to make the person in front of you feel like they’re valued. And that’s the point of being considerate and kind -- it’s not the content of the answer, it’s the intention. As author Ian MacLaren shares; “Be kind, for every man is fighting a hard battle.”

As those of you who follow me know, I find great comfort in reading.  I have recently finished a book by Jon Gordon titled “The Seed”.  Great read!  In it, he talks about a young man named Josh who has lost his passion for work. His boss challenges him to take two weeks away and decide if he truly wants to work there.  Josh takes off for the country where he meets a wise farmer who gives him a seed and a promise: find the right place to plant the seed, and his purpose will be revealed. As Josh travels the country to decide where to plant the seed, he finds surprising sources of wisdom and encouragement along the way to use as inspiration in his quest to find purpose.

On his journey, he meets all kinds of people with all kinds of personalities in the part time jobs he took along the way.  In his part time job as a waiter, some treated him with respect, while others didn’t.  He learned in his role as a waiter that the more energy he shared with a service mind-set, the more he was refueled. Even though Josh learned he wasn’t meant to be in the restaurant business, he learned to bring a server’s mind-set to whatever career he chose.  And that included being kind and considerate to all those he served, even those who were negative to him along the way. 

As Jon points out in his book, “Be the Seed! Seeds surrender themselves to the ground so they can be used for a greater purpose. Wherever you work, decide to plant yourself where you are and allow yourself to be used for a greater purpose. When you plant yourself and make a difference you grow into the person you were born to be and produce a harvest that will benefit others and change the world. “

May each of us plant that seed as the Holiday season approaches making a difference in others lives by spreading consideration and kindness to all those we touch each day!

Blessings your way!


Are you or someone you know fighting cancer... struggling with the physical, emotional and spiritual issues that accompany a cancer journey or other serious health issue? Making ourselves available to others can open up the doors of opportunity for deeper relationships, healing, and transformation. For many, time is one of the most valuable commodities in today's fast-paced world. Sharing time with others is a wonderful gift. It says, "Here I am. . . for you. To listen, to care, to serve." The power of presence should never be underestimated!  

Be an encourager in someone else’s life!

To learn more about being an encourager, and to view the Reflections blog, visit the Reflections from the Home Team website at: