The local McDonalds can reveal a lot about human nature. While eating a Big Mac, I once observed two arguments between complete strangers. In the first situation, a young man was in line waiting to order. His ears had been gauged, but he had taken out the gauges. This had left huge holes in his ear lobes. Although I found it a bit unsightly, I just decided to look at something else. However, a man in the next line over started making cruel comments. He called the boy's ears disgusting. He went on to say that he thought it was wrong for the boy to expect us to eat after looking at his ears. Then the boy made some comments back. I feared they would come to blows. Finally, the boy took his order and left in anger. Though I did not care for his ears either, I was shocked that a complete stranger assumed the right to criticize someone else’s ears publicly. It was mean spirited and wrong.
As I continued to eat my meal, I overheard two older ladies conversing about a politician. In my opinion, the statements were accurate, but I did not know the women and kept my opinions to myself. Suddenly another man jumped up, ran over to the women, and began screaming at them about how the previous politician in that office was far worse than the current one. The women were quite taken aback by his brash interruption into their private conversation. They responded by saying they disagreed with the man. But he went on and on, berating them for their opinions. Finally he stormed out of the building leaving the two women – and the rest of us - speechless.
As I reflect on these experiences, it seems odd that complete strangers treated each other this way. Why did they feel compelled to verbally harass others about things that really were none of their business? What made them think causing a scene was acceptable? Something has happened to our society when such behavior has become common. As Christians, we must learn to set an example for how people should treat one another. We may not like how others are dressed, or what they have done to their bodies, or the political opinions they may share, but we should treat those around us with respect and dignity as people created in the image of God.
Lord, help us all learn to respect one another more and demonstrate our faith in how we treat every person. Amen.
This post is an excerpt from the book, The Heavenly Mundane: Daily Devotions from Ordinary Experiences. Filled with stories of how God spoke in big ways through small events, the book will encourage people to look for God in the mundane things of life. Great for both personal use and to give as a gift to friend, either the print version or the e-book version may be purchased at this link: