Dogs! Probably the only beings that are thrilled to see us no matter what!
I get so tired of acceptance being tinged with judgement, control, expectations, history etc. Even at church one wonders if the acceptance is because they are “supposed to”, or because you fill a pew and help the place run, or are they really are glad to see you? They would all swear that their greetings are genuine, so why doesn’t it translate into attempts to interact at other times the obligatory handshaking session during morning service? Why do they look right past you if you aren’t part of their “in” group. Why do they shake your hand and look at the next person?
When I push my remote and my car flashes a “welcome” I know there is no actual feeling there but I almost feel more welcomed that at church. At least it isn’t looking for anything from me.
The divide between ages is especially evident. The young people walk into church, where I serve the Lord as a greeter, and stare blankly past you. They seem nervous when asked to pause shake hands and recognize your existence.
I used to attend a Southern Baptist prayer breakfast in Anchorage Alaska. The men would come in and do the ritual of going around the circle and shaking hands. The thing that drove me crazy was that they would shake my hand without looking at me, and be moving on to the next without really registering my existence.
Having been invisible my entire childhood, my comfort with pseudo acknowledgement is low.
Maybe one of the greatest gifts you may give your brethren is to ask the Lord to let you see them as he sees them. He is their great lover and is always enthusiastic about interrelating with them.
“Lord, help me be happy to see each individual , look them in the eye and genuinely ask after their welfare.’
As you practice mindfulness, make being mindful of who is near you and delighting in their presence and ideas and lives, a priority. Why did God put this person in my life? What are they experiencing? How would I feel if they treated me the way I am treating them?
Most of smile smile smile! They might wonder what you are up to or what you want. They might get a bit nervous. Still smiling releases endorphins and lifts their mood and when you don’t want anything but to care and relate they will calm down.