By Pat Mills
Sylvania Franciscan Associate
My license plate reads “1st Who.” The statement is an occasional source of conversation, “what does it mean?” As the season of Lent draws to a close and we prepare for the celebration of the paschal feast of Easter, the statement has renewed meaning for me.
I was fortunate to participate in a three evening mission led by Fr. Ray Carey at St. Joseph Church in Sylvania, Ohio this Lent. The theme of the second evening, Shalom: God’s Gracious Gift and Call to Mission
was particularly striking to me. Fr. Ray shared that the word “shalom” means more than just peace. By offering shalom to another we share a wish for their completeness, that all be well with them.
This “shalom” is what we must bring to every interaction with another. Nothing we may talk about, even strongly disagree about, can be more important than shalom, the well-being of the other. This is our mission.
Each of us is a beloved of God, a chosen daughter or son, fashioned in His own image. Knowing this, we must always put the individual ahead of all else, seeing each interaction as a moment of grace.
In April, my employer was recognized by the National Safety Council as a world class leader in assuring its employees are always safe from injury. The Council awarded Owens Corning the prestigious Green Cross for Safety award. The company was featured on the cover of the March 2014 issue of Safety & Health magazine.
In each of the prior 14 years, a photograph of the CEO of the company receiving the award appeared on the magazine cover. This year, production employees of Owens Corning were featured on the cover. This was done to recognize the importance of every employee to our company and to assuring the safety of all.
Each individual counts. Each is worthy of our time, our attention and our shalom.
So, how shall we live life well? How shall we make a difference? How shall we honor our Lord who gave his life for us?