Have you ever wondered if your attitude during the day affects others? Being a minister, I think of this often. Does my attitude turn people toward or away from Jesus? Could I have made a difference — even for a moment — if I had been aware of what was going on around me?
I have a tendency of thinking about other things than about the person standing near me in line at the grocery store. Or I drive along and not notice the person standing on the side of the road.
Here in Waco, Texas there is a man who I have seen kneeling and praying on the sidewalk. I know that sounds weird! I believe he walks to other places and does the same thing. I wonder if the police ever stop and ask him “to move on!” One day I drove by this man, and he was sitting on the sidewalk watching traffic. I slowed down and waved to him. He raised his hand and had a little smile on his face as I drove by. Did I make a difference in his day? Do other folks wave and smile at him? Do they ignore him, or worse, do they taunt him?
I am the chairperson for a non-profit called Justice For Our Neighbors-Dallas/Fort Worth. JFON provides low-cost legal services for immigrants in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I also am the editor of their newsletter and client update posts. (Go to http://www.jfondfw.org to read more.)
This week I sent out a Client Update report about a woman who had her “tourist visa” taken away from her at the U.S. border. Her family was in the U.S. and she was coming in to see them. I do not know all the details of the case, but the officer at the border confronted her taking her visa away; then sent her into the U.S. without a permit. I know this sounds crazy!!
For years this woman hid in the shadows very rarely going beyond her home. She and her family were afraid that she would be deported. Then one day she gathered up her courage and went to the Justice For Our Neighbors office and met with Staff Attorney Maria Macias.
Maria thought this was going to be a case that would end up in an immigration court. But when they attended the appointment at the Immigration Office, they found out that the officer never reported or wrote notes about the incident. “He must have had a grumpy day!” said the person they were meeting with.
Really …. “He must have had a grumpy day”???!!!!!! Because of his “grumpy day” this woman and her family lived every day under the fear of deportation. Because of his “grumpy day” her children and husband came home from school and work worried that she had been arrested and deported. How different this family’s life would have been if the immigration officer did not have a “grumpy day!”
In today’s environment, it seems OK to not care about others. It seems OK to say or do whatever we want and not think about how our “grumpy day” will effect others. What we say and what we do does affect those around us — even complete strangers.
There will never be peace for any of us if we don’t start caring about what we say and do. There will never be peace if we can’t give a smile and wave to a stranger. There will never be peace if we cannot find in ourselves the “love that passes all understanding” to others.
What is your “grumpy day” doing to those around you?
Today do something that will challenge you!