I remembered a random story today that is funny, but also provides a great lesson. We used to live in an apartment complex that was, well, past it's prime. To save money on rent, I worked emergency maintainence at night and on the weekend one week a month. Thanks to the awesome training I received on the work/study maintainence crew at Rochester College, this was an aquired skill set.
When people called, it was pretty predictable. They had no heat...they had no air conditioning...or there was water everywhere due to a toilet or a water heater or something in the vacant apartment upstairs. But one Saturday morning I received an interesting call.
A guy called and asked if I could come over to his apartment, he was hearing scratching...so I went over. Apparently a squirrel was trying to bury a nut in the ceiling of his upstairs apartment bedroom. I told him that I would have to call pest control but there really wasn't much I could do.
That's when it happened. He told me that he was a professional school student trying to study for his quarter exams and that this noise was distracting to him. He said, "I know you don't understand but I really need to consentrate and your attitude is unacceptable." And then he asked me to go on the roof and get that animal out of his ceiling.
He didn't know! He didn't know the fiery guy who was standing in front of him, or the level of education I had, or the fact that my wife was studying for the same tests. Yeah, I wasn't very nice that day. I said, "I have too much education to go up on this very thin roof (considering a squirrel can chew through it) after your pet and you're not as important as you think you are. So, call me again when the squirrel comes into your room, I'll definitely help it get out of here."
I think he was shocked...and I left...he didn't call back, but his roof was fixed the next week because I told the regular maintainence guys about it.
I wonder how people would respond to us if we stopped looking down on them and started treating them as equals? That's what Jesus did, and there is no way we were ever equal...ever.
We encounter people every day - the drive through at Starbucks and Chik-fil-a, our favorite restaurants (Mollys, Tracks, Huey's, Cafe Ecclectic), the gas station (with the cheapest gas), the grocery store (Kroger!), the home improvement store (actually if you find someone to help you in there, let me know your tricks), Walgreens (why are there so many?) and the list goes on.
I don't want to walk away from someone leaving them to think, "He didn't know..." or maybe worse "He didn't care..."
As a campus minister, I realize that many of these places employ students...and so I ask you to be extra nice to them!
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.