Well, it happened again. Last night Debbie (most definitely my better half) and I went out to eat supper. We had chosen Cracker Barrel. I thought that was a great ending to a great day. I had spent the day at New Room Conference listening, learning about sowing the seeds of God’s Word for another Great Awakening. The theme word this year is RISE. I was overwhelmed by Damien Boyd’s sermon about the importance of connecting with people, especially the poor. Damien pointed out that the poor isn’t limited to those without material substance–but especially those who are spiritually poor and those who have been broken by life.
Our server was Miles. He was polite and attentive to us. But this isn’t about Miles. It’s about Marissa. Many years ago The Spirit taught me the importance of acknowledging people at the Huddle House in Guntersville. We had been out to eat, and I noticed her name tag, and thanked her and used her name. She sat her coffee pot down, and thanked me for using her name. She said that no one called her by her name. It was always “Hey, you!” Fighting back the tears, she was overwhelmed that someone noticed she had a name. Ever since that evening I have made it a point to call servers, associates and cashiers by their name when I can see it.
Back to Marissa. We had just left our customary 20% tip on the table and was getting up to leave when another server, Marissa, was walking by. I said to her, “I hope you have a great evening, Marissa.” She smiled and thanked me. Then she turned back around, for a conversation. She said, “I was wondering how did we know each other, but then I realized my name is on my apron.” And I replied, “Well, you are a human being and you have a name, so I used that name.”
A bright smile came over her face and she said, “Oh, how sweet. Give me a hug!” We hugged and said our goodbyes. I noticed as she walked away, there was a renewed joy in her steps. Oh, it wasn’t me. It was the Holy Spirit. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for Him to do what HE does best: Remind people of God’s Presence, that He values them, and best of all, He loves them.
And early this morning I reflected on that simple but Holy Moment of God being with us. I’m not bragging on myself–I have way too many faults to engage in such silliness. But the Spirit impressed on me this truth. All day I had been listening too and learning about the Kingdom of God. And that night I put it into practice–doing what I have been doing since that night in Huddle House in Guntersville–what I heard and learned. I thought I almost heard the 6 words I am striving to hear one day: Well Done Good And Faithful Servant.
You see, learning about the Kingdom of God but doing nothing is like a sandwich without meat, mayo, lettuce, and tomato–you’re toast. Jesus showed people that God values and loves them by connecting with them where they are. A person’s name–using a person’s name is a profoundly simple way of acknowledging their value and worth–as a person and as someone who bears the Image of the Creator.
When you see people, acknowledge their worth and value, then if you pray the Lord’s Prayer, it has become real and true in you–Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. See people the way God sees them. They have a name. God knows their name. Do you?
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Hi!