> Haywood Street is back on Instagram! Follow along at https://www.instagram.com/haywoodstreetcongregation/
> A reminder that Reverend Combs will be on Sabbatical for the month of March.
>“Led by the Light” – Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs 2/22/17
A Haywood Reflection from Dave:
Seek first to understand, then to be understood. That saying has probably been around for a long time, but I first saw it recently on a column at the entrance to the Main Office of Avery’s Creek Elementary School. It made me think of the Hospitality Room. Each of us comes from different backgrounds, experiences, circumstances, and expectations. Even identical twins turn out to have some things that distinguish them from one another. That’s what makes the Hospitality Room so remarkable, even in the quieter times when there are only 40 or 50 people there. But boost that to 80 or 90, and then we clearly have the reality of Holy Chaos.
Whatever the number, it’s so important for everyone to be understanding of all of the others. This is true not only at the Haywood Street Congregation, but also at a game, in a store, in a meeting, at church, at home, or any place. Nearly all the time, whether at HSC or elsewhere, everything goes well. But occasionally something can happen wherever we are—–a caustic comment, a slight bump against someone, something gets spilled on us, whatever it may be. That’s when being understanding of others must take priority over our expectation—-or insistence—–that we must be understood first. We should not assume we are always right or better or more careful or more gracious than the other person (or everyone). Civility counts when we disagree with someone or we feel offended or hurt by them. We must somehow quickly remind ourselves that it is indeed a sign of strength to step back and listen. That’s exactly when we should first seek to understand, and then to be understood.
As has been said, truly big people (and I say that figuratively, not literally) are courteous, considerate, forgiving, thoughtful—–not just to some people in some situations, but to all people all the time. We can think of what was said of President Gerald Ford: “He answered courtesy with courtesy, and discourtesy with courtesy.” How’s that for a model for all of us?
Each time I’m in the Hospitality Room, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be helpful to everyone there and thereby doing something good for me. I can’t help but have the feeling that my grandparents and parents are watching over me with love and happiness in their hearts.
Conclusion: “Judge not lest __ __ __ ______.”
“Do unto others__ ___ _____ ____ ____ __ ____ ___.”
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