Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Do Unto Others

"Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity."  Hebrews 5:2  (KJV)

Kevin is a humble man.  He doesn't like to be bragged on, and he doesn't like attention drawn to himself.  Ever.  
If he can shrink into the shadows somewhere, out of sight, he is perfectly content.
He cares about the feelings of others...way more than he cares about his own. 
That's just the way he is.....and one of the thousands of reasons I love him so much.  

He is a devoted husband and father, and he takes a sincere, genuine interest in everything that is important to Zach and me...no matter how tired he feels or how insignificant it may seem to him.
Some days, he is so tired, and his health problems more pronounced than others.
Yet, he always puts others' needs ahead of his own, and he plows forward....regardless.

He cares about everything and everyone God created.  

And he takes the time and energy required to show it.

He is kind.

The other day, I was listening to a conversation between him and Zachary.  He was telling Zach about several experiences he has had interacting with banking customers through the years.  Some of them were quite amusing, and as Kevin reminisced, he and Zachary laughed and laughed.

And even though some of the stories were quite humorous, the nobility of Kevin's character shone through in a very obvious way....just by his reaction to the situations.

I wanted to share some of his stories....and how he handled them.

The first he told was of an elderly customer he had when he was working in a branch as a Customer Service Representative.  During the course of waiting on her, for some reason, she would repeatedly and regularly mentally space out, turn her head, and look off into the distance in complete oblivion to her surroundings.  She would stay that way for about 15-20 seconds, then regain her senses and resume their conversation as if nothing ever happened.

Kevin never let on that anything unusual was happening.
He ignored her problem and waited for her to return to the present each time she had an episode.
He treated her with the same measure of kindness that he extended to every other customer.

Another elderly lady was afflicted with dementia and came to his branch often for help.  Bless her heart, she frequently came in the bank scantily clad in her nightclothes and house slippers, seemingly unaware that this was not the norm!

Once, he was behind the teller line, when she came in and wanted help balancing her checkbook.  He asked her to have a seat at his desk and told her he would be with her in a moment.  When he reached his desk, she had indeed taken a seat....HIS seat, behind the desk!  He walked over, sat down on the customer's side, stayed there until their transaction was complete, and never acknowledged that anything was amiss.

Another couple would come in who had a very obese and mentally-challenged son.  He would stand behind his father throughout the entire duration of their transaction, continually kissing his father's head, constantly telling him that he loved him.  Kevin acted like it was completely typical and ordinary behavior.  He treated the boy with kindness and regard, in spite of his obvious differences.

There were many other stories....spread over a long career in the front lines of banking.

It occurred to me as I was listening that Kevin respects people....all people.  
Regardless of their condition, age, race, discrepancies, behavior, or differences.
I have never seen him mistreat anyone in all the years I have known him.  

The main thing I noticed about the way he handled the customers he mentioned
was his complete refusal to embarrass them.  
Even though they didn't fit the everyday "normal" mold, he never made them feel inferior.  
He never drew attention to their differences.
He gave them all the time they needed.
He treated them the way they and all people deserve to be treated.  
He handled them with the utmost respect, kindness, and patience.  
The way he wants to be treated.  

Isn't that how it should be....with all of us?

Did you ever think about Jesus' treatment of people?  
If you think about it, every person alive was and is inferior to Him.  
He is God.  
He was God in the flesh when He walked among men.  
It was a huge condescension for Him to even come to earth and take on a human form.  
Yet, He treated each person who came to Him as if they were the most special person on earth.
Because each and every one of them absolutely were in His eyes.

He never embarrassed anyone.

He never made anyone feel inferior.

He loved each person with the same intensity and measure of love.

Whether they were less-than-perfect mentally, physically, or emotionally, it never changed His treatment of them.
He was never partial.
He never showed favoritism.
He never recoiled...no matter how disfigured, marred, or "abnormal" the person appeared to be.

He didn't scorn them because of their challenges, disabilities, conditions, hang-ups, or issues.

He loved them because of, not in spite of.

How do we treat people?
Especially those we consider "less than" or as today's verse words it "them that are out of the way", in other words....different?
How do we treat little children?
Our children?
All children?
Are their feelings important?
Are they not worth our time...our attention....and our love?

They don't deserve criticism, scorn, or embarrassment.
They try so hard to please us.
Their feelings matter.

Are we not all created equal by the same loving Creator?  
Regardless of our station in life, our inabilities, or differences, God loves us all...unconditionally.

Do we enjoy attention being drawn to our own failed attempts?
Do we feel comfortable when we are being verbally or otherwise abused?
Is it pleasant to us when our "differences" are pointed out and scorned?
Chances are, most of us recognize and identify our own weaknesses.
To have someone else point them out and highlight them to us is unnecessary, thoughtless, and cruel.

How do we want to be treated?  

In Luke 6:31 (KJV), Jesus said this,
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."

He never demanded anything of mankind that He wasn't willing to do Himself.
God cares about the way we treat His children....all of His children...regardless.
He came to earth to show us how He wants us to handle others.

The Golden Rule......it's still important to Him.  
Shouldn't it be important to you....and me?

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