There is a first time for everything…at least that is what my step-father used to say. He was a great encourager. “Get out there and try new things,” was something he frequently said. Yesterday, like several of you in the congregation, I rang the bell for the Salvation Army in front of Carlie C’s. I was humbled by the experience.
In the short while that I was there older people with walkers, younger people with as many as four children in tow, and everything in-between made a trip to the grocery store. For some it was obviously challenging. For even more it became clear that a friendly greeting was something that they did not expect nor had they heard in some time. Wary or cautious expressions softened just a little. It was amazing how a simple greeting could change my attitude and theirs.
One fella even wished me a Happy Hanukkah. When I got back to the office I discovered that it was the first day of this Jewish holiday. As I did my research I discovered that there are at least nineteen religious holidays for Jews, Muslims, and Christians between now and the middle of next month. It is a season of gratitude, joy, and light for many people. In the midst of diversity there is much light and love being shared.
I spoke to some of the other “bell ringers” toward the end of the day. We were amazed by peoples’ generosity and how the change filled the bucket.
I am thankful to serve in Goldsboro with you. I gained a new perspective on gratitude.