Who are the main characters of Christmas? Well of course we would say, “God and Jesus,” and that’s true. But how about the earthly characters of the season? We’d conclude that it would have to be Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. Now, these three have something in common and it’ this: they are common! They weren’t dignitaries. They weren’t kings or queens, princesses or princes; they were common folk, living common lives.
Is it a fluke that the main characters in the Christmas story are so ordinary? I don’t think so. I think God is teaching us something – and it’s this: there are no common people. There are no ordinary people. Everyone is special. Everyone.
Let me share a true story that reflects well the ability to see everyone as special.
The woman who told the story shared how she liked to go and visit the Nordstrom department store in Bel Air, during Christmas because the Christmas decorations were always magnificent and there was live music on every floor. She admitted that she couldn’t afford anything in the store, but she loved to go there to take in the ambiance.
On one of her visits, she was on the top floor of the store looking at some of the finest dresses in the world, when the elevator doors opened and out stepped a bag lady. Her clothes were dirty and her stockings were rolled down to her ankles. She stood there holding a gym bag in her right hand. It was obvious that this woman wasn’t going to buy anything.
The woman watched, waiting for a security guard to arrive and usher the bag lady out of the store. Instead, a stately saleswoman came over to her and asked, “May I help you, madam?”
The bag lady said, “Yeah! I wanna buy a dress.”
“What kind of dress?” the saleswoman asked in a polite and dignified manner.
“A party dress!” the bag lady answered.
“You’ve come to the right place,” said the saleswoman. “Follow me. I think we have some of the finest party dresses in the world.”
The saleswoman spent more than ten minutes matching dresses with the woman’s skin color and eye color, trying to help her ascertain which dress would go best with her complexion. After selecting three dresses that the saleswoman deemed to be most appropriate for this woman, she bade the woman to follower her into the dressing room.
The bag lady tried on the dresses with the saleswoman’s help. But after looking at herself in the mirror with the last of the three dresses on, the bag lady said, “I’ve changed my mind. I’m not going to buy a dress today!”
“That’s okay,” the saleswoman said gently. “But there’s my card. Should you come back to Nordstrom department store, I do hope that you will ask for me. I would consider it such a privilege to wait on you again.”
Today, when we encounter others, let us not see them as simply “ordinary” people, but as holy and special. Why? because they are, and so are you.
~ God bless, Dan