This morning my friend, Roger Rydstrom, former church member of the last church I served, in Illinois, now a retired dentist living in Florida, sent me a great article written by a new American citizen who was born in Turkey. There is an accounting at how marvelous it was to her about all the services provided by the post office. It took some getting used to…but she never was chagrined. Here’s a paragraph that was particularly imaginable and yet humorous and yet so true:
“I noticed that Americans were a particularly patriotic bunch: So many of them had red flags on their mailboxes. Sometimes they would put those flags up. I presumed it was to celebrate national holidays I did not yet know about. But why did some people have their flags up while others did not? And why weren’t they American flags anyway? As in Istanbul, where I grew up, I assumed patriotism had different interpretations and expressions.” —Zeynep Tufekci
Reading this reflection this morning, the first Monday of 2016, I thought of our post office service in Leander, Texas. Ever since we arrived in April of last year, the most anger came from people who said “the mail comes too late.” Well, yes. If “late” is after 11 a.m. each day.
The reality is the P.O. delivery lady has a huge task…to fill probably 200 post office boxes in a central section of our neighborhood. I did go to the main P.O. office and inquired if our delivery lady could be given some assistance. The response was hunched shoulders. But, I thought more…how easy it is to be critical where the scowl is the facial body language. That was wrong. So. I make it my “reaction” to say something appreciative to our delivery lady. To tell her I appreciate what she does for us. No less, I thank security people at the airport…people often taken for granted.
Which takes me to yesterday’s sermon. The pastor said something about New Year Resolutions [capped for relevance] that too often the lens we look through for Resolutions is what the scale says…or the mirror. The sermon invited us to use God as our lens…”What would God want us to do, to be?”
Somehow, even though I don’t think any particular person can be impacted…I do think it might even be more than a hint that we give energy and effort in 2016 to consider those who are taken for granted…those for whom our appreciation is often neglected and criticism is the most frequent vocabulary. That’s a good way in which 2016 can be more valued.
Tomorrow…I will share an inspirational editorial about what makes for the New Year to be light years above finding what’s wrong…and where helping when it’s not presumed or expected has a place in our lives.
Happy New Year? Yes. But hopefully a New Year in which we find people who help us in common, even parochial ways, but nonetheless help us significantly….and tell them they make a difference for the good.