Why the Interactions you Value the Least Matter the Most

This week someone in the IT department of my law firm died. No details were provided regarding the cause of his death, but it appeared his death was not unexpected even though he was only a middle-aged man.

Attorneys in the firm responded to the email of his death by recounting stories of how he had helped them with their computer issues, and how he was always patient with them. That was about as personal as it got.

At first it seemed sad to me that the best we could do was talk about his IT support skills, but then I realized that was the only way we knew him.

I’m sure his family knew him more fully as a person because they related to him as a husband, father, son, or sibling, but they are only a handful of people. We are a law firm of 750. In short, at work he was known more widely but less fully. And that is the case with most of us.

Our reach at work is much broader than it is at home. The Uber driver who drives me to work, the doorman at my building, the people I ride up the elevator with, the receptionist I walk past in the morning, the people I talk to on the phone, my clients, coworkers, and the barista at the coffee bar–they are people I touch every day, regardless of how intentional I am about it.

And while it would be easy to dismiss those touches as unimportant or insignificant, they are what make up much of our lives. A lot of people know us a little, and we know a lot of people a little, but that little makes up much of life.

Jesus said that Christians are to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, and that we are to let others see our good works so they will glorify God. Matthew 5:13-16. That means we have the opportunity to positively influence every person with whom we interact.

How then would the world be different if instead of thinking only about salt and light as projects, ministries, and outreaches, we saw each daily touch as an opportunity to season and encourage?

And here is the shocking truth: When we are gone, those little touches are all most of the people we interacted with will remember about us. GS

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