I heard Eugene Cho @eugenecho, Founding and Lead Pastor of Quest Church www.eugenecho.com in Seattle at the CLA www.christianleadershipalliance.com this week. He presented an awesome message with many powerful biblical principles. The one that really spoke to me was this: “Take the time to look at people in the eye and call them by name to restore dignity and humanity…every person is made in the image of God…” While this may not be an exact quote, it is pretty close to what I heard him say at the apex of the message.
The important thing is that I got it. Now, this was not a new idea since I normally do this with most people, most of the time (note I said “most,” as I am sure there have been times when I missed the mark). So I set out to make sure I am consistent in this basic human courtesy. I am reminded that Jesus said “Treat others the way you would want them to treat you (paraphrase).” So there, got it, locked down in my mind, I am on it!
Then later that day, at the end of a long day, I stopped to get a haircut. I walked in to the shop and saw a mom with three boys. They were ahead of me and I had a 30 minute wait so I dashed out to get a bite to eat at Torchy’s Tacos, splurge for sure. When I came back the mom was still there with her boys and the last one was getting his hair cut.
One of her boys was wearing a Buckner T-Shirt that said “Hope Shines Here.” I immediately engaged him and said “hey, Buckner! I am with Buckner too!” I asked him how he was connected to Buckner and his mom said she was a Foster Mom and had adopted these three boys. She also said she already raised a 23 and a 26 year old. I said, “M’am, in my book, you are a saint.” She laughed and then I started talking to the boys. She asked me what I did for Buckner and I told her. She said “Then you know Mr. Henry?” I said yes. She also went on and on about how Andi Lawrence provided outstanding support to the family.
I asked the usual questions about school, grade, favorite subject, and carried on a conversation. At one point, I glanced back at one of the 14 years old boys and looked in straight in the eye and I said “Mason, what would you like to do when you grow up?” This is where it got pretty interesting, maybe a God-moment.
Mason got choked up, red eyes, almost to the point of crying. He tried to get an easy answer out but said “Excuse me, but, you remembered my name. You said my name.” Then he regained his composure and answered my original question.
The conversation went on and we exchanged “goodbyes.” As I sat there waited my turn to get a haircut, I thought “Wow, what an incredible moment for me and Mason.” I think God showed up in that moment. He had been talking to me through Pastor Cho. I am glad I was there and listening. Upon whom will you convey blessing, dignity, and humanity today?