You Are Worth _____

What is a person’s worth?

I’ve had two recent thought-provoking interactions with people whom I was serving in my job role as a third-party service provider. Two dramatically different responses to my actions. These responses came to me after I provided the service I was paid to provide, at the highest level of professionalism possible. But, because of errors made by the primary vendor (not my company or me), both of these interactions were less than positive. After the one I was made to feel totally stupid, unappreciated, and worthless; after the other, I felt appreciated and understood.

What gives?

I read crap on social media that people say and support, like: “they are stupid,” “a very low IQ person,” “God hates you,” “a dog,” and “a despicable person.”

Where do people get off talking about (and to) other people like this? Why do some people think it’s ok to do this?

I am sure that there are a myriad of answers to those questions. Allow me to submit one simplistic possibility – I believe it’s because our world is becoming more self-centered than ever before. And with that comes a dilution of the innate worth of any other person.

Some people don’t engage in conversation anymore because they can’t stomach another point of view. Instead they launch into nasty tirades on social media because they can get instant “followers” that way and they don’t have to put up with opposing views in the process. Or they launch into a demeaning, bullying lambaste of a service provider at their front door simple because they don’t care about anyone else but their own self.

Now, don’t misunderstand me – humanity has the capacity to do some pretty disgusting, stupid, and despicable things. Even good people fall into those mistakes from time to time. But, that doesn’t make them “despicable,” it just makes their decision to take that action very wrong. And that’s where some people get it wrong…they transfer the descriptive label from the action to the person.

I believe in the inherent, innate, and ultimate value of the human person. That means that I can’t afford to swap the labels from action to person.

As I was leaving a job a few years ago, at the going away party the company hosted for me, my boss stated that “Trevor always treats people right.” I hope I never lose that.

Simply because you are worth everything.

– Trevor

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Kiss Me

The power of a kiss.

We work hard, long hours. Sometimes it feels like we meet each other coming and going. Oh, wait, we do.

We struggle to clearly communicate sometimes. With little together time (when we are both awake), that communication happens over text and phone calls. Motives, emotions, and body language are all assumed in that scenario.

With this, and so much more, we always make sure to kiss.

A kiss has an amazing power to refocus and connect. Emotions calm, feelings settle, words soften, and body language becomes more open.

We always kiss. We don’t always feel like it, but we always do.

*st*risk (the misplaced update)

While reviewing my blog, I discovered this post from a couple of years back which I failed to publish. It obviously is dated and doesn’t match the calendar, but it’s still applicable.

*******

Father’s Day.

It’s been an awesome day filled with love and joy. Surrounded by my loving wife, beautiful daughters, awesome son in law, and two granddaughters – one of which is only 1 week old – we have loved and laughed.

Except…

I have carried with me an asterisk. There in the back of my mind. There in the scar tissue part of my heart. The * ties itself to everything I am and attempt to do. The * that changes the way I’m viewed.

A faithful husband – with an * of past failures. A nagging memory that won’t go away. I know she feels it, too.

A good dad – except for that awful * that haunts my efforts to lead my family. I fear they feel it, too.

Well, * is what * is. This “holiday” has been a tad tarnished. For me anyway.

Tomorrow will be a new day with new mercies. I will trust that He will bring some new healing and strength.

Maybe in time the * will shrink in its influence and power over me.

-Trevor

Watershed

I’ve always been uncomfortable with the saying, “You aren’t defined by your mistakes,” but I’ve not been able to put my finger on just why.

Until today.

I sat in a very special event today. It was an event that caused some connections to finally come together for me. I was at the same time feeling such pride and joy, as well as the deepest soul-wrenching pain imaginable.

We’ll call my big mistake (described in previous posts) the watershed event. It was a dozy, I fully admit and take responsibility for it. However, I’m becoming more and more convinced that some of the people in my life view me in light of that one event.

Everything good I did before is discounted.

Everything good I do after is doubted.

As much as I say and do to prove otherwise, I stand helpless in the face of the decisions of others to so define me.

This is my life.

Tending Fence

I enjoyed a quiet drive through the country today. One of most favorite things to do. I had my youngest daughter with me and I was pointing out different things and sharing some of my experiences growing up in the country. It wasn’t too long and she was engrossed in something on her phone, so I just moved to musing to myself.

I was struck by a particular sight that I’ve been mulling over. It seems like this was on my mind since the instant I saw it. A large acreage heavily fenced in…a well-worn path just inside the fence line obvious from daily trips tending to the fence…pastureland that has long passed from valuable and useful into a state of neglect and harboring weeds, thistles, saplings, and brush. A gently rolling landscape of what must have been, in the past, the pride and joy of someone…but has since devolved into just something ugly.

The thought came to me immediately that this is what has happened to the church in some places. So much attention has been paid to tending fence to keep in the flock and keep out the unwanted, that the vitality and beauty of the thing has turned ugly from neglect and distraction on lesser priorities. To the point that those who pass by have no interest of getting in any longer.

I remarked to my daughter that the owner needed to do some serious “brush hogging” and burning to save the value of his property.

Maybe God does, too.

In some places I’ve been told I’m not wanted, no longer valuable, not even to be a greeter or usher…certainly not to “minister” in any way. There have been times I’ve been tempted to just keep moving on and not give the church a second chance. But, I keep driving by, hoping against hope that one day I will find an open gate and a pastureland that is beautiful from its tending.

But, then again, I’m a country boy.

In Memoriam

In the absence of my own, here some good words from another.

Spiritual Friendship

Sunset on a country road

A month ago, just before sunset, I was out walking along a quiet rural road near my home when my phone rang.

“Are you sitting down?” My mother asked in a voice that clearly wasn’t normal. I wasn’t, but there wasn’t anywhere convenient to sit nearby, so I asked what was wrong anyway.

“Trent was killed in a car accident tonight.”

Trent is—I typed is out of habit, but now realize I must say was—my 18-year-old nephew. He was on his way home from studying with friends, and would have graduated from high school in just three weeks.

The day he died was also, as it happened, his mother’s birthday. Two days after Mother’s Day.

There is a before and after to grief: one minute, your life, and the lives of your family members are humming along in the ordinary way; the next moment, you enter a new and very…

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