One of the things that has always struck me is that, whatever our profession, we have so much power to make the world a little bit better. We do this by acting out our calling as God’s representatives on Earth, assigned to carry out His will in our own little spheres of influence.
And how do we do this? We do this by treating people (all people: employers, employees, peers, merchants, providers, customers, etc) as image bearers of the living God. Not simply as means to attain a paycheck or a good or service (not that those are bad things, in themselves). As Paul writes to us in Ephesians 4, we are to be “Be kind and tenderhearted to one another”, and this should be central to all areas of our life, including our work.
We often forget just how powerful that calling is, and how much of a difference it can make in people’s lives. How much difference, really, do my actions make outside the strict job description that I am performing? Does anyone really notice?
I believe they do, though we often do not get the feedback which would tell us so. That means that it’s important for us to be vocal about when someone else has made a difference for us. We are also called to encourage each other, and letting people in to how they make our lives better, no matter how big or small, is one of the ways we can make this world a little more heavenly.
I recently saw a letter circulating on twitter from a grateful customer for a haircut that his wife received around Christmas last year. It was an encouragement to me, and I hope it will be to you as well, to be more like both the hairdresser and the grateful husband when we engage in our business. The letter I read is below.
June 27, 2020
This is a little bit awkward. But I’ve waited a really long time to pass this on to you.
My wife and I came in for haircuts shortly before Christmas of last year.
My wife was suffering from dementia, and you treated her as if you’d been working with dementia patients all your life. You let us sit next to each other, and when it came time for her cut you turned her chair towards me so I could watch her expression as you cut her hair.
It turned out even better than I thought it would.
Sadly, she died in March. And that haircut was one of the last, best moments of her life. She felt so pretty. She visited the mirror in her bathroom several times during the day and would come out beaming.
To see her so happy was priceless.
Looking back, it was likely one of dozens of haircuts you gave that day. But one which revitalized a woman’s sense of self and her singular beauty. I hope you always realize the power of your profession.
It’s so easy to take things like that for granted.
A grateful customer