God has been nudging me to think about some ways I can help create a culture of peace in the town where I live. One of the ways I am doing this is to learn the names of people God brings across my path. It may seem an insignificant thing, but this small act has become a spiritual practice of mindfulness for me—that there is a spark of the Divine in each person I encounter…the checker at the grocery store, the teller in the bank, the barista at the coffee shop, or my car mechanic. It is harder to ignore, be impatient with, or rude to someone you truly see and value as God sees and values them. Our scriptures tell us that God calls each one of us by name and sees our inherent worth.
This past week I was downtown and saw a homeless man Klamath Falls Friends serves at a monthly community meal. His picture was randomly in the local newspaper several weeks ago and I told him I saved a copy for him. He smiled and we exchanged a few kind words. I know a little of this man’s sad story and I always make a point to call him by his name. He no longer is just that “homeless man” downtown, but a man with a name and a story. Perhaps it is in small gestures like this one, simply acknowledging the dignity and worth of a person that brings God’s peaceable kingdom to earth.
Contributed by Faith Marsalli, pastor, Klamath Falls Friends