Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Star and the Servant.

When I was in my 20s I played the lead in a musical called Angel Voices. I spent a year rehearsing and touring the U.K. At each venue we had a large local choir as backing singers. I remember one day in Huddersfield where the cast had arrived early to sound check and we were waiting for the choir to arrive for their final rehearsal before the performance that night. I was resting in the choir seats when a young woman came up to me and in an angry tone said 'You're sitting in the wrong seat. You need to move.'

Now being in the lead in the show meant that I had a lot of choir members fawning over me at times and even asking for autographs so this woman's tone to me took me by surprise as I was expecting a compliment. I was tired and cranky, and so I responded to her rather indignantly.

'Don't you know who I am?'

I explained how I was the main character in the show and I was tired from travelling and rehearsing and so if I wanted to sit down here and relax I was going to do so.

Not exactly a shining moment of loving christian witness.

More recently I was leading worship at a retreat center in the Texas Hill Country. I was carrying my keyboard equipment as people were starting to arrive. As I walked past the packing lot about to get my tub of music resources a woman came up to me and asked me to carry her bags to her room. I should explain that I was wearing a blue custodial shirt at the time. If you looked closely at it you would see that instead of my name sewn on as a patch, it simply said the word 'Gamer'.

I calmly walked over and helped her with her luggage and then went back to setting up my music equipment.

That night after worship she came up to me rather red-faced and apologized for her mistake and said 'I'm sorry. I didn't realize who you were.'

To the young girl in the choir I made a decision to explain who I was, to woman at the retreat center I made a decision not too.

Joan Chittister wrote, “Each of us should have two pockets,” the rabbis teach. “In one should be the message ‘I am dust and ashes,’ and in the other we should have written, ‘For me the universe was made.’”

My default is to live out of the dust and ashes pocket, to compensate I over inflate my importance to Donald Trump proportions.

How we perceive ourselves shapes how we expect to be treated. - 'Don't you know who I am?'
How we perceive others shapes how we treat them. - 'I didn't know who you were'

If someone asked you who you were, how would you respond?