Do what's kind because it's right - Denny Scott editorial
Being a first-time father who has to spend so much time away from his first born isn’t an easy task to take head-on, believe you me.
There is one silver lining, however. As sad as both of us are when my daughter Mary Jane realizes I’m leaving, the moment I come
home to her never fails to fill my heart with joy.
This weekend, between several different games at local arenas, some Christmas celebrations and a few other entertaining events, I was going in and out of the house a lot. It’s heartbreaking to leave, but the moment I walk back through the door to my home and hear Mary Jane struggle to find her footing on the hardwood floor to run to greet me, a smile breaks across my face as wide as the Jordan River.
When she hears the door, before she knows who it is, she has a welcoming smile on her face because she is always happy to greet people entering our home.
I believe that innocent, all-welcoming love of children is one of the chief reasons God chose to send His son to this world as a baby. The decision is symbolic of how unconditional His love is.
Before we get any further here, I’ll level with everyone: My religion is something I typically keep private. It’s not that it shames me, or that I’m part of some weird sect that people might judge me for (actually, I wouldn’t really care if the latter were true).
No, there’s no reason for me to hide my religion, but I’m not hiding, I’m just not shoving it down other people’s throats. I’m a loyal parishioner of the United Church of Canada.
I could tell people about it. I mean, I’m very happy about my family’s religion. Why happy? Well there is one big reason.
We may not have the rich history of some other church traditions (though the traditions that were united to create us have lengthy ones) and we may not have the fancy buildings to visit in foreign countries, but we do have one thing to hang our hat on that is essential to my belief in the United doctrine: we welcome everyone.
That may not fly with some readers. Heck, that may not fly with some friends, but the fact that we welcome everyone is important to me. I’m not dealing with any specifics here: I’m talking about every single person seeking the Kingdom being welcomed through the doors of the United Church.
Like Mary Jane, every good practitioner of United’s brand of Christianity should offer a loving smile to everyone who walks through the door.
Unfortunately my adherence to that most sacred tenant was tested recently, and I may have failed.
Recently I was at a church event and there was someone who exhibited different behaviour.
This person may have been considered, by those who have forgotten the spirit of being in a church, disruptive to the service.
The glowering glances, the not-always-whispered shared sentiments of frustration with not being able to hear and the haughty attitudes were pretty plain to this journalist taking in the service so I can only assume they were all to clear to Him.
In His house of worship, some people were judging others of being less deserving of a spot at His table. That incensed and stayed with me for quite awhile.
If you think you might have been one of those people, fret not, I’m not here to pronounce sentence upon you, that’s not the responsibility of a mortal man.
The only person I can take to task is myself and, in doing nothing, in letting the heartbreak of that moment stay with me instead of spurring me to action, I failed. I failed to practice the love that I am accusing others of ignoring, so I’m going to resolve to do better.
This unconscionable act happened in, of all places, a church and, of all times, during a month in which Christians should be putting in every extra effort.
My original intention here was to say that those who don’t practise God’s love, especially in a church, should be shown the door. However, it dawned on me that in that belief I was no better than those who upset me.
Instead I’ll challenge those who think on the outbursts of a child as an interruption or the actions of anyone behaving differently as deserving derision to be better Christians. Be better than you were, be better than I was and remember to love without condition.
Don’t pay lip service to this challenge either. Don’t go around treating people better because the local big, bad journalist may have better ears than you think. Doing what is right because someone else is watching is useless. Do it because being kind is right.
Not to cheapen the sentiment here by dipping into science fiction and fantasy, but like many great morals, the title character of Doctor Who fame said it best: “Without hope, without witness, without reward.” Doing the right thing and being kind is only worth doing if you do it without hope of recognition or recompense.