Marcel was a man I met something like 18 years ago. He was a very interesting, very smart, older man from Russia (I think? It was 18 years ago). He was here in the states because (I think) his son lived here, and he was able to move here to live as well. He was very well educated, and took a job cleaning refurbished telephones, because that is all he could get for work in the states – for some reason his education didn’t mean anything here. I can’t for the life of me remember WHAT he went to school for – MAN my memory is bad!
Here is what I do rememeber about Marcel, which is why i bring up this fine gentleman:
While I worked directly with Marcel:
- He was very friendly and engaging – he loved that I had Polish roots, and often told me of how beautiful it is in Poland. That “I should definitely visit”
- His accent was a bit of a language barrier for some – and those that didn’t want to try and understand him were at odds with him quite a bit. I never understood this…….
- He was not perfect – he was old and set in his ways. So he was part of the party, when it came to conflict. But really – who isn’t, now and then?
- He reminded me of my grandparents – they being old (of course), and European, their accents and demeaner were very similar. Something about Marcel just made me feel welcomed
Then I moved to the shipping department, where we would request phones, etc from Marcel and others. This department had some wonderful people – but they for some reason didn’t get along with Marcel as much…. I think they did not appreciate his differences from us “normal Americans”…. And my attitude towards him changed…..
While I worked in a different deparment:
- He was argumentative. He was old and set in his ways. He was a pain in the butt, to be honest
- He never got his work done on time, or never did it right – what a pain in the butt!
- He had terrible body odor! How did I not notice this before, when I sat right next to him???
- He was always pestering me about going to Poland. Come on, man, I am not interested…..
What am I getting at here? Read my different descriptions of Marcel, and see how they are SO different. Keep this in mind – Marcel didn’t change. He was old and set in his ways, right? No – I changed…..
I became someone who was judgmental. Too good for him. Irritated by this kind old man, who was just trying to get by……
And he’s just one example…..
And so am I…..
When we take our eyes of Christ, we can be very easily swayed by the world. A world, mind you, that WANTS to do what is right (I believe this, even if I am naiave). But a world, just the same, that has no idea how. Or worse – doesn’t want to put the effort forth or put their neck on the line……
My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul; let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse”— my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood. (Proverbs 1:10-16)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
I wonder sometimes, what Marcel may be up to – if he’s even still alive. I wonder some times if he saw those ugly things in me, or if he still saw in me what seemed to appreciate at least when we first met…..
I wonder how many realize how easy it is for their views of the world to change – and now always for the better…. I wonder if some of those “old, set in their ways” people may have had some things right all along, and were not willing to conform to the pattern of this world……
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)