by David Phelps

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person." - Mother Teresa

March, 1996

One morning as I was taking our daughter, Monica, to day care, another driver turned into the wrong traffic lane. I was sure I was going to see an accident. I made a remark about the intelligence of the other driver.

Suddenly, from the back seat, I heard a voice: "What did you say, Daddy?"

I realized I had said something unkind and that Monica, sitting there in her car seat, had heard it. I was thankful she hadn't heard clearly, and even more thankful for the little voice from the back seat, that reminded me to watch what I say in front of an impressionable three-year-old.

In our daily lives, we must be aware of the people in the "back seat" all around us; people are watching us, and they are affected by what they see and hear. At the same time, we can be the "voice from the back seat," for them. Our simple presence in their lives can be a reminder of God's grace and power for change. Each of our actions can be not only the act of a good person but the act of a Christian person. Whenever we show kindness, we can show Christ; whenever we show forgiveness, we can show Christ; and whenever we show patience -- even with knuckleheaded motorists -- we can show Christ.

"but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in your conduct; since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'" (I Pet 1:15-16 RSV.)


Copyright © 1996 by Maplewood UMC