What if every person you think has it all together actually doesn’t?
What if the ‘perfect people’ need affirmation and belonging just as much as anyone?
What if, sometimes, the people who seem to need the love of others the least, actually need it the most?
We’re called to love everybody (Matt 22:39), but, for years, I left a huge section of ‘everybody’ out.
For a long time, if a person wasn’t homeless or obviously inept at life, I figured they had it more together than me. I assumed I couldn’t be a light for them.
Which is pretty funny because I’ve since learned that some people looked at me as though I had it all together.
Me? Together? Please excuse me while I guffaw.
I realized that, if my ‘Got It All Together’ mask was fooling people, then I was probably being fooled by their masks.Those confident ladies at work and the perfect Christian ladies at church were just like me.
Maybe some less so, some more so. But everyone has broken places.
There’s no such thing as perfectly healed, this side of heaven. That means that everyone has a hole that our kindness can touch.
But that doesn’t make it easy.
The masks we wear can be intimidating. So, I’ve compiled a short list of ways that we can bless people we barely know, who don’t seem to need it. Because they probably do.
7 Simple but Powerful Ways to Bless a Mask-wearing Stranger and Be a Light in a Dark World
#1 – Tell Them They Belong.
Tell them they belong to your social circle, to your business group or to the human race. Remind them that they aren’t alone; that they’re considered ‘one of the group’.
“I know you’d do it for me. We Moms need to stick together,” to the mom who thanks you for returning her escaped toddler at the playground.
#2 – Tell Them You’re a Fan.
Tell the young man who stands when you enter the room at work that you regularly notice his uncommonly respectful manners.
That crossing guard you meet, while walking your dog, who makes the kids feel like she’s been waiting all day just to see them? Tell her that you see her going above and beyond.
#3 – Do Something They Could Easily Do for Themselves.
At coffee break – at work or after church – ask a stranger if you can take their empty coffee mug to the kitchen.
Take your neighbour’s recycling bins back to their house – every week.
Pay for coffee for the person behind you in the drive through.
#4 – Tell Them They Have Good Taste.
Tell them you like their stuff. Their hair, their clothes, even the cover on their phone. Even if they’re terrible at accepting a compliment, you may just make their day.
#5 – Smile. At them.
So often, we send a sort-of-smile in someone’s general direction. Why not work up the courage – maybe practice on someone you know well – to beam your most radiant smile at someone?
You know how a baby’s joyful grin brightens your day. Yours has the same power.
#6 – Notice Their Hard Work.
Everyone appreciates when their work gets noticed, but those at the very top and the very bottom are often overlooked when it comes to praise for a job well done.
Say thank you to the young person holding the Slow sign at the construction site.
Tell your boss, honestly, that you can see why they’re the boss.
#7 – Recognize Them.
You know when you’re out for dinner and you see a client from 3 years ago at the table next to you, and you think, “They wouldn’t remember me.”? Say hi to them.
After all, you remember them. Even if they can’t quite place you, being remembered and acknowledged feels good.
This may seem like a simplistic list of insignificant actions. But we’re not trying to move mountains. We’re trying to love our neighbours as we love ourselves because, even the Joneses need a light in the dark world.
Maybe more than most.