Who Would You Like Me to Meet?
Of the fire fighters to lose their lives in New York City on September 11, 2001, Father Mychal Judge was among the first. As NYFD Chaplain, he was known to begin each day with: “Lord, take me where you want me to go. Let me meet who you want me to meet.”
We can only presume that he recited that same prayer on that fateful morning. The Lord guided him, and Fr. Judge followed…into eternity.
Indeed, everyone he encountered – in every circumstance – was a gift and an opportunity to serve. Each day, I endeavor to imitate that way of thinking…to be intentional about seeing everyone I encounter as a gift, and reciprocate with a gift of myself. Whatever I have to offer is yours, even if in the moment it’s only a smile and a warm hello. That’s for passersby.
Everyone I encounter has a need for something I have to give!
As for those in my circles of influence: family, coworkers, customers, vendors; I’m trying to be more aware and intentional about demonstrating “yes” to the three questions everyone is asking me: whether they’re conscious of it or not:
- Do you care for me?
- Can you help me?
- Can I trust you?
I find that to be both powerful and a real challenge. So often my own selfish interests or temperament trip me up. Everyone I encounter has a need for something I have to give them! The challenge: I must be in a deeper relationship if I’m going to learn what that something is. And in this time of work from home, virtual meetings, social distancing, and masks, even smiles are harder to deliver.
This Thanksgiving, I’m more grateful for the opportunity to just sit and talk with people (have you noticed how even elbow bumps feel good?). This is because we need each other. Text messages and Facebook posts have been problematic at best and oftentimes harmful. Bottom line: they just don’t cut it.
The rest of Father Judge’s prayer is, “Tell me what you want me to say, and keep me out of your way.”
There it is! So wise, and so simple. Yes, I tend to get in the way – me and my issues with people, circumstances, opinions, and expectations.
So, what am I thankful for? Many things! But this year I will try to be extra thankful for the gift of all those I encounter, and the opportunity to be a gift to them.
And this gift includes YOU…if it is only through me sharing this prayer as we bring what has been a challenging year to a close. May you and yours be blessed this Thanksgiving, and in the seasons ahead.