I love for someone to reach out to me and smile and exhibit kindness and consideration and concern!
Have you ever interacted with someone who captivated your attention from the moment that you met them? This person simply engaged your mind and emotions and you thought that… what is it about them that is so interesting and intriguing?
I remember assistant pastor Beyler in the early days of our attendance at First Presbyterian Church in Carbondale. She customarily read a body of scripture at the beginning of Sunday service. I do not recall anyone that brought more life and meaning to scripture, simply by reading it to the congregation, than pastor Beyler. As I listened to her read…I felt that what she was reading had either happened recently or that I was part of the drama of the passage!
I was visiting with a friend of mine recently and we were discussing the fact that many people are in the wrong profession. A leader of others must seek to care for the people that they are charged with leading.
‘Leadership is not being in charge, it is about taking care of people in your charge.’ Simon Sinek
Politicians reach their constituents by touching something inside of them that resonates with their bedrock beliefs. Whether you are a fan of our current president or not…he dramatically connected with enough voters, in the last election, to win the electoral college.
I remember JFK! This man had a charisma that excited and energized the country! When he proclaimed, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’…thousands joined the peace corps…or entered government…or were inspired to become the best that they could be!
I remember president Reagan…I voted for him twice! I was inspired by his vision of America!
My mother loved FDR! President Roosevelt told out country in the midst of the Great Depression that, ‘The only thing that we had to fear…was fear itself!’
I recall Pastor West inspiring me to think more about and write about the homeless and the indigent and the immigrant and she gave me a love and appreciation for the Gay community…that I had formulated in my mind…but had not verbalized!
Pastor John Somers taught me the true meaning of humility. John was a pastor of a long-standing career and some significant notoriety in the Southern Illinois region. Yet he was the most humble minister that I have ever known!
Pastor Archer took a great interest in me when I was a young man. He mentored me and taught me what it was to be a gentleman. I have endeavored to follow his example up until and including this day.
English professor Carol Burns inspired me to attain an academic degree. She was my professor for English Composition 101…and she counseled me that I could attain any academic success that I sought! We read George Orwell’s ‘1984’…in 1984!
Chancellor Jo Ann Argersinger inspired me and thousands of other Southern Illinois Carbondale community members! She loved the University with a vitality that was palpable! She believed that all members of the University were equally important to the success of the institution! Her brief time as chancellor was a breath of fresh air for our school!
There is a spark of inspiration or charisma…or anointing…that is present in the most successful leaders of our churches or our government or our dramatic performers or our teachers!
It is incumbent upon us to recognize the same flame of inspiration that touched the early christians is still accessible today…to those who seek it!
Do we want God’s will for our brief journey in this life….or do we want to stick…rigidly to the script or our mission statement and our rigid formulaic dogma that we have been involved in for 50 years?
Do we desire a political leader who is compassionate toward all of God’s creation and is grounded in logic and science and truth…or do we want to let our bias and our prejudice and our misogyny and our xenophobia…rule our actions and our, at one time, soft and pliable heats?
The $1000,000 question is….are you a member of a church that you are comfortable with their basic tenants and teachings? Are you convinced that your minister cares about you and empathizes with your needs and concerns and is there for you when you need spiritual counseling?
Is the political rhetoric that you hear on a daily basis…consistent with the concrete reality that you observe with your eyes and hear with your ears?
We were at the Orthopedic Institute this morning and Mary Jane had the most delightful Physician’s Assistant examine her regarding progress resulting from a medical procedure. This young woman, Misha, had a natural affinity and charisma for patients and her interaction with my wife was some of the nicest that I have witnessed. We both left her office upbeat and encouraged!
Let us strive to be the person that those who we meet and interact with and those lives that we touch…are uplifted and enhanced and made better by our brief presence!