This week I've been meeting with my national covenant group. Each year we meet in a different city for three days. This year, 19 of us are here in the KC area, and we met at Conception Abbey, the Benedictine monastery near Maryville. If you've never been there, I highly recommend a visit sometime.
One of the rules of the Benedictines is that every person is to be welcomed as though Jesus himself were the guest. What a simple and powerful truth, especially in light of the polarized culture in which we live.
What would happen if, at the start of each day, we asked God to help us interact with each person as though we were meeting Jesus? How would we approach a conversation with the Lord? Would we be more attentive? Would we show more respect? Would we take time to listen? Would we lower our defenses? Would we skip the small talk?
You've heard me mention before a prayer recommended by Henry Blackabee in his book, Experiencing God. He suggests beginning each day asking, "Lord, show me where you are at work today, that I may join you in your work." I see a strong connection between the Benedictine rule and Blackabee's prayer.
Lord, reveal yourself to me in each person I meet today, and allow me to act toward others as I would act toward you.