I walked in and looked around. It looked like an ordinary gathering place. The area was filled with lots of talking, sharing, and greetings. I gave hugs and exchanged many hellos. People of all ages were there; grandparents, teenagers, elementary aged children, and an adorable toddler wandering into the office. It was the foyer of a church in our town. There was a familiarity about it. It is a scene replicated every week in churches, synagogues, and other places of worship across the country and world. Yet, this week this place now felt different, set apart. It was now a hallowed place. What made this a hallowed place was the event of the previous week. It was on this spot that a man of God died at the hands of a stranger. Bishop Sannar gave his life to save the people he loved; the toddler, the teen-ager, the grandmother, the cub scout; all that were in the church that Sunday. The stranger shot Bishop Sannar. He died as he tried to get others out of harm’s way. His priorities were on those he loved and cared for.
It was hard going back to the office on Monday- reflecting on the events of the past two weeks. I was more keenly aware of the choices I make each day; that we all make each day. Do I answer an email or give my grandson a hug? Which has a more lasting impact? An eternal perspective? Hugs or emails? I am trying to choose the better part. Providing service and responding to needs of users and colleagues is of primary concern to me, but please don’t be alarmed if it takes me more than 24 hours to answer your emails. Sometimes, hugs are more important at the time.