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You Remind Me Of...

A Devotional by Anne Remington

When I was in college, I worked as a waitress at the Oberlin Inn and at Yellowstone Park. I was not the best waitress. One day I dropped peas down a man’s back. Another time I spilled ice in a man’s lap. There are more stories just like those. Nonetheless, I enjoyed being a waitress. It was fun waiting on people. Often people would say, “You remind me of my granddaughter.” This always made me feel good. Their kindness and this feeling of connection meant a lot.

I saw a program on the PBS show, Independent Lens. The episode was called “Aware: Glimpses of Conscientiousness”. (In place of “conscientiousness” the word “soul” was sometimes used.) The program was about connections. Various people shared their stories. A biologist from Australia, who has studied plants for years, is convinced that plants communicate and that there is a union, a connection, between all living creatures (plants, animals, humans). This idea of connection is also a part of many religions, including Eastern religions.

A research specialist from Johns Hopkins University told of his study of patients who had been given drugs, including psychedelic drugs. Drugs that diminish the sense of self, diminish the ego. He used what looked like an MRI machine and then later interviewed the patients. He asked them about their experience, about how they felt. As the sense of self and ego diminished, patients felt a sense of oneness with the universe, a comforting feeling. For some it was a religious experience.

I wonder, could we allow our sense of self, our ego, to diminish? Perhaps we could better see the whole of creation, see ourselves as tiny specks in this broad unknown, recognize that no one person, church, or state is privileged with all the answers. Maybe we could open our eyes a bit wider, be more willing, see the need to learn from one another. Maybe we could see the need to comfort and support each other, and by doing so, be affirmed that we are not alone. Maybe we could be more mindful of the necessity of caring for our earth, be more appreciative of the beauty of all creation.

I needed to replace my cordless phone. I made some phone calls and got tangled up in a web of technology. You know, those robots that say, “press 1,2,3,4…” or “to exit press 5”. It was endless! The prospect of a human voice seemed remote. Then, suddenly, a technician from Panasonic came on the line. She was knowledgeable and kind. We discussed my old phone and options for a new phone, including models and colors. Her favorite color was rose gold. Being connected to her was wonderful!

Later that afternoon, I received a call from Kyle, a staff member at Best Buy. He was kind. He listened. He and I shared feelings about technology and the beauty and stress of it all. Kyle was considerate, most helpful, and willing to share his time. He e-mailed me pictures of phones. He made sure that my order went through correctly. My phone arrived the next day!

Two significant connections with a stranger in the same day! The glowing feeling stayed with me for days. It gives me hope. It’s true. Many years have gone by since my waitressing days. But I wonder. Did I remind Kyle of his mother? Or possibly his grandmother?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each time we met a stranger, we could feel a connection? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could stop, listen, and follow……follow our hearts as they say, “You remind me of…”

Let us pray: Creator of the world, may we see the need to stay connected with You and Your world. Amen.


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