This week we had a couple over for dinner. I will give them the fictitious names of Brian and Nancy, simply because I don’t think that they would want any praise.
We know Brian from our college days, when he was my husband Alan’s counselor. Over the years, we have had Brian and Nancy over a couple of times when they have visited the city that we were living in, and Alan has met with Brian when Alan has visited the city Brian was living in.
Meanwhile, Brian became the president of a renowned graduate school. Recently, he was invited to our city to speak at a prestigious event, and even though Brian and Nancy had a busy schedule, they made time to come over for dinner.
Brian and Nancy are both fun, intelligent and down-to-earth people with huge hearts for others. They were an example to me by the way that they engaged each person (down to our ten year old) in our home in conversation, making each one feel worth while.
Most people are more focused on the main conversation going and what they could contribute to it or their own good time, but this couple seemed to be thinking of others…all the others. This is an example to me, and I am seeking to follow it. By the next day I had an opportunity when at Israeli folk dancing to approach someone who doesn’t converse much with others, and speak some kind words. I plan to pursue the thoughtfulness that Brian and Nancy modeled to me.
But there is more:
After a wonderful evening together, when I was driving Nancy and Brian back to their hotel, our aged car began making very loud noises, as if there were no muffler. After a while there were additional noises and the feel of some sort of pipe dragging underneath the car. While I was concerned about the car, and about getting Brian and Nancy back to their hotel, not for one moment was I embarrassed, as this couple was only projecting sympathy in a kind but fun way.
Driving up to the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa with this rusty, roaring, clunking car did not seem to phase or embarrass them. Brian looked under the car, saw that there was definitely a pipe dragging on the ground, and asked the uniformed door-man for a hanger. When this was brought, Brian got down on his hands and knees and managed to rig the hanger around the pipe and hook it to something to keep it off the ground for my journey home.
What did I see that evening, in front of the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa? I saw Mr. Dr. President-of-Renowned-Graduate-School-Speaker-at-Prestigious-Event down on his hands and knees doing exactly, and I mean exactly what Jesus (Yeshua) did and told his disciples to do…serve each other. People say they believe certain things, but does their life show it? Does ours? This man’s does.