After the first of the year, a lot of our seasonal worshipers arrive in town, making the first few Sundays of Epiphany a reunion of sorts.
One particular gentleman, usually with his wife, was sitting alone. She was either sick that week or couldn’t attend for some other reason. A few minutes before the worship service began I went over and said, “Hi, great to see you back!” Just a simple greeting and handshake.
The following week he was back, this time with his wife. After worship he came over and said to me, “Thank you for coming over to say, ‘Hi’ last week. I really needed that.” I must have looked puzzled, so he continued, “I don’t like to sit alone and it just meant a lot that you came over. Thanks.”
From this I’ve learned to never underestimate the power of a simple greeting. I also learned a long time ago that there is great blessing in remembering someone’s name when they return the next week or the next year.