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Food for ThoughT

Small Gestures

Let me share a letter I came across: June 27, 2020 Dear Sara, this is a little bit awkward. But I’ve waited a really long time to pass this on to you. My wife and I came in for haircuts shortly before Christmas of last year. My wife was suffering from dementia, and you treated her as if you’d been working with dementia patients all your life. You let us sit next to each other, and when it came time for her cut you turned her chair towards me so I could watch her expression as you cut her hair. It turned out even better than I thought it would. Sadly, she died in March. And that haircut was one of the last, best moments of her life. She felt so pretty. She visited the mirror in her bathroom several times during the day and would come out beaming. To see her so happy was priceless. Looking back, it was likely one of dozens of haircuts you gave that day., but one which revitalized a woman’s sense of self and her singular beauty. I hope you always realize the power of your profession. It’s so easy to take things like that for granted. Sincerely, a grateful customer. The powerful impact of a simple gesture! We come across many opportunities like this through the day so how can we train ourselves that we automatically tune in to a service mode? This echoes what James says in 1:27 about pure and faultless religion, and what Jesus said to the faithful in Matthew 25:35, that “when I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” But my laziness and self-centredness kick in with numerous excuses that sound very legitimate! So how can I correct that. We start small and have someone hold us accountable. For example, how many times have our leadership challenged us to reach out to members of this congregation during this crisis to stay connected to each other and to help members in isolation? It’s been 8 months now and I have yet to contact anyone outside my usual circle of connection. I wanted to, but never got around to doing that. How much effort does it take to write a card and put a stamp on it? So I am asking you to hold me accountable to just this one thing that by next Sunday, I would have contacted two people in this congregation to let them know that I am thinking about them. I encourage you to join me in that effort. Let’s be the sheep in Matthew 25 and not the goats!


Samson Ling

Follow, Disciple, Share!