Alpha - Omega
I have, over the years had the privilege of meeting a great may people.
At the beginning of my working life I met many, many customers, some who I got to know well others I only knew by name.
As a minister I got to know people on a very different level. I became a part of peoples lives, taking part in happy events like marriages and anniversaries. I also was there with people as a loved one died and I then conducted the funeral. I was allowed to help in difficult times and rejoice with them in times of joy. Many of those people are still my friends today and I still enjoy hearing from them.
I became a teacher. There I got to know students and my room became a gathering place at intervals and lunch hours. I heard of there romances and break ups. Some of them discussed problems they were having and I was happy to watch them overcome them. Some of those students still keep in touch with me to this day.
I was a hospital chaplain and a prison chaplain. Here I was with people in very difficult times. I shared on a very intimate level some of they're hardships and joys. I was often able to help some of them through those times and on to better things. Many of them still get in touch to this very day.
I have moved house many times over the years. Each time I have had the opportunity to meet new people and am privileged to call many of them friends.
There has of course, and always will be those who no matter how I try just do not want to know you or like you. We have to live with this it is a part of life. This should never, and never has for me, meant that I do not make the effort. I already have got to meet and share with some very interesting people in y new village, some of whom I would already say I am privileged to call friends.
This reminds me of a little tale worth telling.
A new student during his first month of college, tells of his professor. His name was Mark.
The professor gave his students a test paper on their first visit.
Mark was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until he read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. He had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would he know her name?
He handed in his paper, leaving the last question blank.
Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward the test grade.
"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They each deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello'".
Mark never forgot that lesson. He also learned her name was Dorothy.She had a wonderful way of helping people to see how life was never as bad as it seemed.