16 April 2009

...where everybody knows your name...

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name,
And they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

Back in my childhood days, there was a television show called CHEERS that was THE show to watch on (I think it was) Thursday nights. The exploits of the hyper-sexual bartender Sam (played by Ted Danson) and the mean, loud mouthed Carla (played by Danny Devito’s wife, Rita Perlman) and their friends enthralled, amused and entertained thousands every week. But my favorite character was always Norm. Every time he walked into the bar, the entire bar erupted with the greeting, “NORM!!!” and I just thought that was the coolest thing. All Norm ever did was sit at the bar, drink beer, complain about his wife (who you NEVER saw), bicker with his best bud Herb, and occasionally, he’d get off his stool at the end of the bar and play pool. Yet, either by virtue of just being there all the time or because he was a really a good guy beneath the grumpiness, everyone knew him by name and greeted him with affection each time he entered the room. Wow.

My friend DJ is greeted like that when she visits her favorite sushi bar. My brother is greeted like that at certain eateries in his old NYC neighborhood. And every Sunday morning, when I go to my favorite Starbucks shop for my weekend cup of sustenance, if Aliyah or Michael are working the counter, I get the coveted “Kris!!!” as I walk through the door. (And they know my convoluted drink order without me even having to say it…now THAT will make anyone feel special!)

This past weekend, when I was at my freshman alma mater for homecoming, a classmate (and childhood friend) saw me across the vast auditorium floor and gave me a special “Kris!!” greeting. It literally sent tingles up my spine to know that someone was so excited to see me that it came out joyously, loudly and without concern of who might hear them greet me in such a way. Love it.

Two thoughts: First one: Have you ever expressed your joy at seeing someone in such a tangible, memory making kind of way? If someone is special to you, shouldn’t you let them know – even at the risk of embarrassing yourself? Why don’t you try it today and see what happens? It might brighten someone’s cloudy day…or bring a smile to their (and in return, your) face. Second thought: Wouldn’t it be the coolest thing ever if when you see Jesus for the first time, He gives you a “Norm!!!” type of greeting? Like He was really, really glad to see you and that being with you brought Him great joy? I think it would. Guess I need to live my life in such a way to ensure that it happens.

Be blessed.

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