Let me just say that I love the I.T. Helpdesk at work. You call a number and tell them about your computer troubles and they provide solutions! Wouldn’t it be great to have a Helpdesk for so many other aspects of life? You cooked a soup that tastes too bland, call the soup Helpdesk! Your tire keeps going flat and you can’t afford a new one, call the tire Helpdesk! Cabbage worms keep eating the veggies in your garden, call the veggie helpdesk!
I’ve been having computer troubles at work. Our Helpdesk is understaffed, and doing the best they can to keep our workplace working under these crazy pandemic conditions. But after spending too much time too many days in a row talking to our Helpdesk the Helpdesk guy, who was new and probably already having a rough day told me, “You have a crummy computer but we have bigger problems than this and we’re not going to replace your computer. Deal with it.”
This morning I was on the phone with the Helpdesk again, something else not allowing me to get my work done right.
The Helpdesk guy said, “You must know my wife, your name is in her address book.”
Ahhhhhh! (I put 2 + 2 together….) She is a person I’ve known for years, but we lost touch several years ago. I didn’t recognize the last name until he mentioned it. We traded stories, how his wife and I had come to know each other, discovered things we had in common, etc.
I felt my own attitude change as we talked. Instead of being grouchy I wanted to be nice to this guy now because his wife is a friend of mine. And he obviously felt the same. Instead of mutual grouchiness we suddenly were speaking like friends. And amazingly, he said he’d see what he could do about getting me a new computer!
33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.Leviticus 19:33-34
It made me think about the ways that we treat strangers differently from how we treat friends. Of course you shouldn’t need to know the Helpdesk guy’s wife to get a new computer when you need a new computer. But I wasn’t blameless. You shouldn’t have to know the Helpdesk guy’s wife to treat him like a real human being either.
Today the Helpdesk guy not only helped me with my computer problem. He also helped me discover another way that I can learn to be more like Jesus.
Do you love the stranger among you as yourself? The new person at work? The impersonal voice at the other end of the phone? The stranger struggling with an armload of packages at the store?
Don’t forget that Jesus gave us the original Helpdesk: the Holy Spirit who is always with us ready to help us develop and learn to reflect the fruits of the Spirit in our everyday lives.