I opened up Sunday School class by giving them the opportunity to ask the preacher anything they wanted. Thankfully they avoided controversial topics like the church and politics and gave me fun questions like what do you like about your job, what do you not like, how do you prepare a sermon, and does it bother you when you see someone sleeping during your sermon?
(On vacation last month I heard a particularly uninspiring sermon and was reminded of how hard it is to listen to a sermon. So no, the one who dozes on Sunday morning doesn’t bother me. Not much at least.)
The funniest question from a young mother of two. “How do you deal with people all the time—the disappointment? I think I would just stay mad all the time.”
I laughed out loud. I can remember that same young woman fifteen years ago as a mouthy teenager who gave her Mom and Dad fits.
Of course people disappoint us. The donor who fails to fulfill a pledge, the deacon who runs off with a co-worker, the whiny complaint from an entitled church member—all of these and more can get under our skin.
What keeps me from staying mad all the time? The wonder of people. These people I have seen in the last month alone have provided encouragement enough for a year.
A 23 year-old who has bravely faced a chronic illness for years received her permanent ileostomy just today. She is trusting and clinging to faith. She is an inspiration.
The retired physician who lives on Social Security and gives away over 50% of his income every year.
The young dads who took a week off from work and went on a mission trip to Central America.
The faithful volunteers who teach my grandchildren every week at church.
My friend who lost a child just two years ago and now ministers to others who have suffered loss.
The 86 year-old grandmother who visits people in the Nursing Home every week.
Another group of men and women who took off work to do hurricane relief work in the Florida panhandle.
The Board members who have served on the non-profit’s board for years.
Goodness knows there is significant anger and craziness in the world. But if I look closely all around me I see goodness and faithfulness and hope and especially wonder.
The wonder of people. Open you eyes. They are all around us.