There’s a meme making the rounds again in social media, starring a toddler who wants to go home after church, but his mom is still ‘chatting’ with others:
My son and my husband (both sans tie) have experienced this emotion. I can see their faces now: “Will she ever stop talking? Is there anyone she doesn’t know? How does she know every.single.person’s.name? ”
The answers to those questions: I don’t know. Grandma Mary just passed on the gift of gab to me; part of that gift is being aware of what others are going through in life, trying to make them feel better, and being genuinely happy to talk with them. I don’t pull it off half as wonderfully as she did, but I try.
So yes, I linger in the lobby, talking with those who want to say hi, catch up, give a hug, etc. It’s usually a festive area, with lots of laughter and smiles.
But here’s the thing. If I only use the front door, and if I only talk with those in the area that is known for smiles and joyful chatter, I have to ask myself, “Who is not included here?” In other words, “Who is using the side door, and why?”
Stop to consider – is anyone using the side (or back) door because they feel out of place? Is anyone using the side door because they don’t feel deserving? Is anyone using the side door because they think no one cares whether they were here or not?
If we are all, truly, one body with Christ as the head (as I discussed last week and referenced by the verses in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26), then we must care for each individual part, to keep the body healthy. We need to care for each other – the familiar and the stranger; the rich and the poor; the healthy and the sick. We need each other.
And what happens when we show we care? I don’t think I can show you any more clearly than in this video from one of my favorite You Tube sites, Soul Pancake: http://bit.ly/1VFvxkN
How can you show someone you care, today? Are you willing to search out those using the side door, to let them know they are equally important? I’ll bet you are.
And if, when you check out those in the side door, you run across a 15 year old trying to sneak out because his mom is still talking …. feel free to chat him up until I arrive. His Great Grandma Mary would be proud to hear he’s carrying on the tradition.