Last week I wrote about “Seeing the Similarities” between ourselves and people who might otherwise be “different” from us. I think that often when we focus on differences, we have a tendency to see those differences, (related to social or financial status, age, gender, abilities, training, or something else), as inferior to us, which gets us “stuck” in our current perceptions and opportunities. Focusing on similarities, or learning to appreciate differences, helps us to grow personally and interpersonally.
On Thursday, as my husband Steve and I were leaving a class that we had just finished teaching, we were approached by a young man. He introduced himself as “Peter,”, asked how many more weeks we would be teaching, told us we were “doing a great job,” followed us out the door, and asked if he could pray for us. Right there on the sidewalk, he placed a hand on each of us, and prayed the most beautiful prayer for protection, direction, and wisdom. When he finished, he asked us to pray for him, too. Steve prayed, and then Peter asked me to pray for him, too.
The world would say that Peter has a “cognitive disability” and a “physical disability.” He has likely spent most of his life in special education, and is currently working in a sheltered workshop with other people with “significant disabilities.” Yet he gave us the most thoughtful, generous gift of his time, attention, and desire to offer up a sacrifice of praise to the Lord.
I have never had a person “without disabilities” offer me this gift. In pondering that this weekend, I’ve wondered how I can follow Peter’s example and be quicker to offer similar gifts to people, not because they’re family or friends, not because I’ve been assigned to work with them, not because they’ve done something to deserve it, but because I’ve been “incited” to reach out to bless others.
How about you? Peter offered us what he could. It made me think of the Biblical Peter, who said to the lame man in Acts 3:6, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you…”
Pass it on…may we all follow Peter’s example this week, responding to his “incite” to reach out and bless others. And in turn, may you be richly blessed!