Being out in public with young children is always interesting… if not maddening. Maddening, for the obvious reasons, like the time recently when I turned around to find my 3 year-old rolling around on the bathroom floor at Walmart. Interesting, because they frequently put me in situations that, otherwise, I would not be in.
For instance, I often find one of my children shamelessly staring at a person, within plain view, mind you, of that person, making it obvious that they are the object of my child’s gawking. Other times I will find them doing their “tricks” (i.e. – pseudo-karate moves, pretend flying, or just showing how fast they are) in front of total strangers whom they have failed to introduce themselves to.
My question upon finding them in these circumstances is usually, “Did you say ‘hello’?” Most of the time the answer is “no”, but when I asked this question over the weekend, it got me thinking – “Brent, have you said ‘hello’?” Okay, I wasn’t the one breaking out my display of ninja skills three feet in front of this person (hmm… maybe this is a better way to meet new people), but I usually notice the people who are in general proximity to me in a public place and I could have at least greeted that person.
I sometimes get annoyed with my kids because I have to go pull them away from another awkward moment like these, but the truth is that I have something to learn from my kids’ lack of inhibition when it comes to putting themselves into social interactions. I have been commissioned by Jesus to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20), and so, really, I have a better reason to interact with people than my unbelieving kids do.
Lord, grant me repentance from being so consumed with myself that I neglect to even say “hello” to the strangers who stand just feet away from me. Today, help me to remember the depth and width of your love for me in Christ so that I will love you by loving people.