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Shiny, New Asphalt! Does It Help? Or Hide?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, July 10, 2014

honesty word cloud

Shiny, New Asphalt! Does It Help? Or Hide?

Brand, new parking lot! The paving company stripped the church lot at my workplace several days ago, and then resurfaced it with new paving material. Shiny, new black asphalt! And, new yellow striping, to boot!

As I gazed out onto the shiny expanse today, I wondered. Does this new surface help matters? Or does it hide them?

Let’s take hiding, first. A cover of asphalt can make it difficult to get to the bottom of things. If anyone has anything to hide, a double layer of asphalt is a pretty good way to hide whatever people want hidden. Spiritually, I mean. Or, emotionally.

If someone is hesitant to express themselves, or just plain afraid to communicate, a shiny new exterior can do wonders! Covering up their real, painful, authentic selves, and pretending to be happy-happy. Or pretty-pretty. Instead of letting people know what is truly going on inside. Or at home. Or at work. Or emotionally. Or, what kind of anguish or fear or despair is happening to a loved one. Whether close kept secrets are yours or a loved one’s, they still can be painful—especially to you and to your loved ones.

What about helping? How can asphalt help? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is safety concerns. The old, broken-down blacktop in the parking lot was beginning to be a hazard, especially for those who had some difficulty walking. It doesn’t matter why, or how old people were, because broken asphalt can be treacherous for people to navigate, even if they are able-bodied and sure-footed. And what about when the weather was tricky? Wet and slick? Or icy? The broken, uneven pavement was doubly a cause of concern.

Now that we have an even, smooth surface to walk on in the parking lot, I feel a lot better. That’s on behalf of church members and friends. I earnestly want everyone to be as comfortable as possible coming to St. Luke’s Church. And if a parking lot in good repair helps in that effort? Wonderful!

So—providing a smooth, even path for people? Let’s go a little further. Get into a smooth, emotional path for people? Provide a positive atmosphere for friends and members? Encourage openness and honesty in communication? These are traits I truly want to welcome and encourage. I would like to model these traits, to the very best of my ability. Will I succeed, all the time? No, I am afraid not. (Even though I try very hard!) However, I will continue to try my darnedest. I tried my best to be honest and open today. To be kind, and helpful to several people! God willing, I can try my darnedest tomorrow, too!

@chaplaineliza

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