If nothing changes as a result of the times we are in, then we will have suffered in vain.
I think each of us can agree upon that. No matter our ideology or religion, our philosophy or agenda, we all possess wisdom enough to see the truth in this.
Because things DO have to change.
Now, I realize for those of us who have faith, there is an understanding that true peace or global harmony is impossible until such time as Jesus returns to set things right. Perfection cannot be attained until then. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do something to foster it in the wait.
We can pray for a greater measure of it. We can do our part to create it.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,” the Bible tells us, “for they will be called children of God.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to be called a child of God!
I want to be a peacemaker in the wait.
Last summer my daughter Rachel talked me into working with her as a barista at our local coffee shop. My daughters Kelsea and Grace joined us. Now, the four of us work together and it would have been five of us had Emily not quit the same location a couple of years ago for her job as a graphic designer.
Pouring coffee and connecting with people sounded fantastic to me in light of the years I’d spent homeschooling, teaching, taking care of a farm, and well, milking goats. (Wouldn’t anything be easier than that?) I’d only work a few days a week. I could schedule hours around the high school classes I teach and write on my days off.
I do SO love good coffee!
As far as I was concerned, it would be a walk in the park.
Alas, it’s not always a walk in the park. Working in a fast-paced environment where caffeine-depraved, ur, I mean deprived, people can be mean, mean, mean, has been more challenging than I’d have thought possible.
It’s astounding, really, how some people can behave toward strangers, and I’d been exposed to the rigors and associative humiliation of the food service industry before. I knew what it could look like. But that was thirty-five years ago.
People have changed in thirty-five years.
More than ever before, in this age of plenty, there is a presumption on the part of some that those who elect to serve are relegated to do so because of inferiority. A caste system mentality seems to pervade the thoughts of these individuals, wherein it’s perfectly acceptable to demean the human serving you.
Oh, what I could share. Nearly every one of my partners has been in tears on at least one occasion. Enough said.
Basically, I have to remember why I wanted to pour coffee for the public to begin with:
“…not only is working with my girls going to be fun, I am going to be able to get out of my comfort zone, learn how to do something I’d not tried before, and mostly, I am going to love on people!
I am going to show people what a middle-aged, non-judgmental, woman who follows Jesus looks like.
I am going to be Jesus in imperfect form.
And I am going to drink great coffee while doing it! What a win-win!”
Learning the countless ways of making coffee and tea beverages was easy. Loving on people…
Not always so easy.
That means, among other things, being a peacemaker.
Enter stage left: Mean People
Isn’t it funny how God always grows you in your plans with challenges that seem to break those plans? We don’t have to be thrown off by them. We can use them to push through to resolve. And to develop strength, and that’s undoubtedly the reason for the challenges.
I don’t like challenges!
I do have to say I love the partners I work with. I am twenty years older than my oldest co-worker and that means I am mom to them all. I seriously adore them. And the company I work for has treated us SO well during this time of quarantine and social distancing. What a blessing they have all been to me!
I can deal with a few meanies.
But here’s the thing, since we’ve been open for drive-through and mobile order pick-ups, meanness is dissipating!
Mean people aren’t so mean. In fact, we’ve been back to work for two weeks now and nobody has been rude to us. (That may be the mother of all miracles.) Oh, there are still the dishonest—those repeat offenders who allege their drinks are NEVER made right and insist upon a free one EVERY visit. (Maybe they can’t help themselves?) But mostly, every customer is thrilled we are open and courteous in the wait and maybe, just maybe, quarantine has been kind to the mean.
It certainly makes us re-evaluate our priorities, doesn’t it?
If we take nothing from this worldwide pandemic except terrible suffering and mild to severe inconvenience, we will have learned nothing. I greatly appreciate those on the front lines, but I would argue WE ARE ALL ESSENTIAL to the functioning of the whole.
No matter how we choose to serve, we can all endeavor to be peacemakers.
Support one another.
Weigh in with positivity.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
And “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
We are equipped for change. Things must change, indeed. They must change for the better.
Shame on us if we don’t come away from all of this changed.