'Tis the season to eat leftovers, start Christmas shopping, and, you know, think about other people. I know I have zero problem with the first one or the second one -- but the third one can be a little bit trickier. That's exactly what one Bishop sought to address when speaking with his own congregation. His tactics went way beyond the usual, old-school lecture. In fact, I think his way of getting through to his church members was impossible to ignore.
Mormon Bishop David Musselman used makeup and costuming that would have fooled his closest friends to pass as a homeless man. And fool them all he did! Once so attired, he loitered on the church grounds to see how church-goers would treat him. He found himself ignored, told to leave, or scowled at by the people who normally hold him in high regard.
Once he revealed his true identity from the pulpit, the impact of his project was felt fully by members of his church who were mortified at the way they'd treated this "homeless" man. "I started feeling ashamed because I didn't say hello to this man. I didn't offer him anything," said one stunned church member.
Musselman himself felt he learned an unexpected lesson from this project. It isn't just about physically offering help to those in need that matters, it's offering something less tangible: Compassion. Musselman said:
We don't always have to give money or even food, but if we act the way we say we believe, just smiling and making eye contact and allowing them to have a little bit of dignity can be enough.
That's definitely a lesson we ought to all carry with us as the stress of this Holiday season threatens to take hold of us all and make the real reason for the season hard to remember.
What small things do you do to make a difference to those in need during the holidays?
Image via YouTube.com