Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Thought for the Month

“It is a simple, stunning, magnificent idea. That we are all children of God, that faith isn't about me being more pious than you, my denomination being the right one, my religion needing to destroy yours to prove itself. Faith can actually be something we celebrate in each other, something that makes us more alike than different.” - Mitch Albom

Recently, best-selling author Mitch Albom was a guest columnist for the On Faith section on washingtonpost.com. In his piece he shares his experiences with two men of faith, each from very different walks of life. Click here to read the article.

Inspired by Mr. Albom’s article, here are the stories of two local men.

“We are all children of God….”

A good friend of mine, who sent me the Washington Post link, told me about a lovely man she works with, who is always smiling and wears the nicest clothes. Based on his heavy accent she assumed he was from another country, which he later confirmed. My friend mentioned to him one day that he was the best-dressed person in the office and made the rest of the staff look sloppy! After thanking her for the compliment, he then shared that up to a few weeks previous he had been living in an area shelter and that all his clothing had been donated.

“Now that I have a paying job I see to it that my clothes are always neat and clean because they were a gift from God,” he said.

My friend replied back, “God bless you, and yes, that’s a good reminder, everything we have is a gift from God. Because we are His family.”

“Yes, one big family.”

My friend shared this thought with me: “I couldn’t help but think there are people who wouldn’t know his story but would be suspicious of him just because he was from a different country, when in fact, we’re all children in God’s family.”

“…Something that makes us more alike than different.”

Arriving to the church early one cool spring morning, I noticed a middle-aged man standing inside the door looking at pamphlets. As I entered through the glass doors he looked up and we made eye contact. His clothes were a bit disheveled and his shoes were well worn, but what caught my attention was the sparkle in his eyes. After saying good morning to me he asked if he could have some of the pamphlets to take with him, to which I replied “absolutely.” He went on to tell me that he enjoys coming early in the morning to sit in the sanctuary to pray. And then he leaned in and said, “Can I tell you a little secret?”

Nodding I said “yes.”

“I come here every week for the AA meeting. I never miss a meeting. You know, I just have to take it one day at a time.”

For some reason that comment really hit a home run for me and I said, “That is so true for many of us. And sometimes it’s one moment at a time.”

At that he chuckled, nodded and said, “Ain’t that the truth!”

We both went our separate ways. I never saw him again.

“Faith can actually be something we celebrate in each other…”

God uses people from all walks of life to encourage us, to teach and empower us and to help broaden our horizons. Sometimes it is the simplest encounter, with someone we may not know anything about, that can have a profound affect on our day. It reminds us that life and all it has to offer, day to day, moment to moment is a gift.

A Prayer For The Month:

Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards ALL People.