Have you ever encountered a magnetic person? Another human that you would like to know what they are doing that seems to bring joy to their soul and happiness to their face. This individual seems to, ‘suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,’ with a bit more grace and humility than the rest of the maddening crowd.
Calmness in the storm is a hallmark of a christian. Our current society has co-opted the title of christian and trumped it far and wide to promulgate their hate speech and personal views. Jesus did not preach an us against them message. Christ did not choose a popular political side to align his ministry with. He chose love and forgiveness and healing.
I remember when I became a christian in the halcyon days of 1969, how the quiet compassion that I observed and felt from members of the congregation of the little church in Elkville, Illinois. I rode the Gulf Transport bus from Eldorado to Carbondale on Saturday morning and someone from the church would come to pick me up and drive me to Elkville. Often I would stay with a family and they would treat me as if I were a member of their household.
I had a pastor in the early 90’s named John Summers. His quiet and unassuming life for Christ was compelling. He neither pushed himself on others nor did he often offer opinions in church board meetings that we were engaged in. However when he did speak it was genuine and the substance of his words stayed with me…up unto this day.
I watched a leader at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale who had a gift that I had seldom witnessed. Chancellor Jo Ann Argersinger simply drew people to her. I was hosting her open forum as a candidate for chancellor in the student center. Having been a member of the university community for nearly 20 years I understood my place in the hierarchy and yet this petite woman with the powerful personality insisted, 3 times, that I call her Jo Ann…rather than Dr. Argersinger. Jo Ann was noted for trudging out into a field that was being mowed by a member of the Grounds staff…to say hello and to tell the person how much that she needed them and how important that their contribution to the university was.
Magnetic people cause those with whom they interact to become connected to a church or a university. We are all seeking love and understanding and a connection that is not based on politics or money or power. The old saying that our actions speak louder than our words. Do you believe that during our short time as players on this stage of life…God is vitally interested in how much wealth that we can accumulate and how that we can ensure that only our tribe has it? Then, the Holy Father is going to reward us with even greater mansions and golden streets in heaven…
Where are the homeless in your community? Who are the destitute among you? Jesus may be bunking with them tonight…waiting to see who will come by…