Rachel Dotzler – Student Pastor
“Is anyone sitting here?” she said as she approached a weary, older looking man that may or may not be somewhat homeless that was playing around on his phone. “No, ma’am! Please…” he said, as his hand gestured outward inviting her to take a seat. The two chicly padded, modern looking chairs were in the corner of the dreadfully chilly Starbucks slightly facing each other with a small table in the middle separating them. Without another pause, the blonde haired, fifty-something aged woman grabbed the chair and started to literally inconvenience herself by turning it around without a moment’s waste.
As I sit across observing what is taking place, I just quietly stare at these two strangers while pretending to still be interested in my laptop in front of me. With headphones plugged in, arms full of shopping bags that hang so tight it leaves creases in your arms (come on now ladies, you know what I’m talkin’ about), and not to mention a coffee in hand, I see this lady struggle to inconveniently turn her chair the opposite direction to avoid having to sit diagonally from this weary, old man. She is now sitting almost parallel with a young lady plugged in to her laptop, facing the opposite direction, slightly blocking the walkway, with this poor man now looking at the back of two chicly padded, modern looking chairs and no one around him. How often do we go out of our way just to avoid people?
You may be thinking, “you are reading way too much into this,” and you might be right, but what if you’re wrong? I believe every day we go out of our way without realizing it, just to avoid interactions with strangers. This image of someone going out of their way, struggling to turn her chair just so she didn’t have to sit remotely near to someone, cannot escape my mind of how we treat people that look, speak, and act different to us. We are in a season of giving. Giving brings joy to others and brings joy to the giver, but what if giving looked different this year? What if giving looked like something that cannot be bought? What if giving looked like something that doesn’t make you feel good? What if we gave what Jesus gave Mary as she sat at his feet eager to learn, what if we gave what Jesus gave his disciples as He sat with them and broke bread together, or what if we gave what Jesus gave the Samaritan woman at the well? He gave people time.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying, giving of our resources is crucial, needed, and biblical! But church, giving genuine time to loved ones, strangers, neighbors, coworkers, human beings is a gift that you can’t replace. If we are going out of our way just to avoid giving people the time of day, we are missing what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Are you too focused on your to do list? Are you using ALL your resources to give this Christmas? Are you too busy to give of your time to people who are in desperate need of it? Being a Student Pastor, I have realized some days when the to do list is overwhelming, when I find myself saying I’m too busy to hang with students, friends, or my husband, I say, “screw it” and I make time for people. I call them “screw it” days! It’s easy to get caught up in this “busy” season, but I believe no one is busy, we just get our priorities wrong. So, to the blonde haired, fifty-something aged lady in the Starbucks, thank you for this reminder of time. And thank you to the One who gives us all the time in the world so we are able to, in return, give this precious gift to others.
Church, is it time for a “screw it” day?Click here for the photo credit on this post