The past 18 months have been wild, and while we aren’t yet out of the woods, I find myself reflecting, beginning to piece together what I want to carry with me from this season of life.
by Julianne Clayton, Office Manager
As you might imagine, here in the Trinity office, we work with a lot of machines. Whether it’s a computer, copier, printer, postage meter, folder, or paper cutter, each machine helps us do much of the behind-the-scenes work of ministry. And as you also might imagine, these machines don’t always cooperate.
The paper will jam; the ink will run out; the computer won’t communicate with the printer. It’s in these moments that I often begin to personify the machines. I’ll say things like, “She seems to have a mind of her own,” “He is in a bad mood today,” or “Maybe this machine needs a nap.” Dealing with the machines can be difficult, and phrases like those often feel like a good way to cope.
However, I also realize that sometimes I do the reverse. Sometimes, instead of treating a machine like a person, I treat myself and others like machines. I value others based on what they can do for me or how well they perform. I often treat them like a commodity or a means to an end, rather than a living, breathing person made in the image of God. I fail to recognize the whole of their humanity. And the expectations I set for myself are similar. Like a machine, I base my worth on my productivity.
The past 18 months have been wild, and while we aren’t yet out of the woods, I find myself reflecting, beginning to piece together what I want to carry with me from this season of life. As we head into a “new normal,” what do I want to normalize?
One thing at the top of the list is I want to remember our collective humanity. I want to remember not only for myself, but for others, too. I want to be intentional about looking for the image of God in each person who crosses my path each day—the grocer, the server, the leader, the person on the other end of the phone, even those I vehemently disagree with. I want to remember that we are all human, with limits and needs, worries, and fears. And I want to treat people accordingly by choosing to offer grace, compassion, and kindness. It’s a small shift, but I believe it could make a big difference. Will you join me?