Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Philemon 1:7
When you work in an elementary school the word “contagious” doesn’t have a positive meaning. The first reaction is to grab the Clorox wipes and start wiping down every flat surface that doesn’t move. It turns into a near olympic event to conquer the germs that could take out half of the front row in one swift swoop. But Saturday night I got a different look at the word and I liked it.
Saturday I was traveling home from a beautiful trip to Charles City Iowa. I spent the day with a hall full of beautiful women who had strong faith, easy laughter and hearts that were willing to love and serve the Lord. It was a great day! On my way home, I had a two hour layover at O’Hare airport in Chicago and I chose to sit in an open hallway rather than a cramped boarding area where I had a little more room to work. After a few minutes I realized I was near the Cubs Bar. I love baseball but since my two favorite teams; the Tigers and the Royals are out, I hadn’t been paying much attention to the playoffs. I learned in a hurry that the Cubs were still in the hunt.
One of the big screen tv’s in the bar was angled out a bit so folks passing by could stop for a bit and catch the score even if they didn’t have time to sit down for a burger and a beer. About the time the Cubs scored their first run, the atmosphere became contagiously enthusiastic. I’m sure all those who stopped to cheer on the Cubs weren’t all die hard fans, but they got drawn into the spirit and the contagious energy. I watched police officers and TSA agents and custodians and traveling executives share conversation like they were long lost friends. I saw fist bumps and high fives and even a hug or two. The only people who didn’t walk away smiling were the folks wearing Dodgers shirts.
I watched for more than an hour and I was delighted to see the events unfold. I truly believe that the power of that hour wasn’t in the game but rather in the human connection itself. It usually started with a simple question; “who’s ahead?” or “how’s the game?” What followed next was great! There were no barriers; no financial or status divisions. There was no color, no religion, no political party…it was just folks cheering for something good, something simple, something fun. It didn’t take an education or a policy or an act of congress; it just took a wee little bit of contagious cheerfulness and camaraderie.
Make no mistake, this isn’t a post about baseball; it’s a post about how calculated our thinking has become on some days. We can become so concerned with each others credentials and points of view we forget we are so easily able to connect at the heart over the simplest things in life. I tried really hard to soak up some of that contagious energy and whatever “germs” caused it so I could bring it home. I think we could all use a little dose of that fever. I think maybe we should call it the “love your neighbor” epidemic. So, go on…get out there and spread some of those germs around and lets see if we can’t brighten things up today!
A Seed To Plant: Smile and say hello to 5 random people today, if you’re feeling especially contagious ask them how their day is!
Blessings on your day!
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