• David McNitzky

A Note from Pastor David - A Lesson from Eunice

Years ago I first heard the story of a West Texas woman named Eunice. It seems that Eunice went to the local small town post office three times a week and stood in line to buy stamps at the counter. One day the post master reminded her that there were stamp machines in the lobby and that she did not have to wait in line every time she needed stamps. Eunice replied, “I know that. But the machine in the lobby won’t ask me about my arthritis!” Eunice taught me something important about the value of human connection. Last week I wrote about Dr. Vivek Murthy’s work on loneliness. In one instance he uses this quote from a patient to describe his loneliness, “If I disappear tomorrow, no one will even care!” Eunice knew that her postmaster would not only realize if she disappeared, he would also care.

Eunice’s experience also caused me to wonder: Do the people I claim are important to me experience me more as the post master or the stamp machine? Do they think I really pay attention to them? I remember a story Deborah Tannen tells about a widow who found love again in a retirement home. Telling her daughter about the new boyfriend, she described a recent experience where she had told him about a luncheon she had attended. She told her daughter, “He asked what I wore to the luncheon!” It seems that nothing expresses love like being interested in, and paying attention to, the life of another in detail.

During this time of pandemic I hope we will find time to pay attention to our family, our friends, and especially to those who may feel unnoticed. Call them. You can even ask about their arthritis!


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