It was early when I opened the door for a group of high school students from the Media Arts School down the street. They were coming to St. Tim’s for, what I feel is, a rather unpleasant undertaking – spending the whole morning taking the PSAT (one of those awful, standardized tests). It wasn’t quite 8:30 a.m. when about 50 students arrived.
Because it was so early, and their reason for being here so difficult, I assumed the students’ moods would be rather glum. At least, that’s the way I would have felt. I decided to offer a smile and a somewhat reserved, “Good Morning,” as I held the door. But what happened next was astonishing: Almost every student who walked past me smiled and thanked me for holding the door! They were alert, incredibly kind, and offered their gratitude without hesitation or prompting. A couple of students even commented about the weather! Seriously?! Wow.
Upon reflection, this event revealed two facts:
- My assumptions about people need to go. Why did I assume the students would be grumpy? Just because I’m difficult to be around when I’m doing something I don’t want to do doesn’t mean anyone else will be! Without a second to pause I made a decision about people I’d never met.
- Whoever out there is still down on the “next generation” needs to actually spend time with them. I’m constantly amazed at the kindness I am given and respect I am shown by my 11-year-old’s friends. God’s got me, you, AND the young people of this world. Period.
Thanks be to God for the gift of these student-neighbors and all they gave me today. Who might surprise you with some grace-filled kindness today?
See you Sunday…