I have benefitted from loving parents who created a safe and affirming family for me to grow up in. I never felt pressure to perform to gain their love and favor. I always felt accepted, affirmed, and appreciated by my parents. I have also enjoyed positive mentoring from sports coaches who helped me set and attain goals (in a team environment), and gave me helpful feedback for my encouragement and enrichment, not to mention, personal and team accomplishment.
How are you doing in accepting, affirming, and appreciating others?
In the musical story of The Man From LaMancha, we encounter an aging man named Don Quixote (pronounced “key-ho-tay”). Those around him think him to be quite odd. He has decided to go on a grand expedition. He views himself as a royal knight out to do right and justice in the world. Despite the fact that the age of knights has long since passed.
He comes upon a stubby and chubby man named Sancho. He asks Sancho to travel with him and become his royal attendant, his squire. Sancho, realizing himself to be just a common servant, is intrigued by Quixote and figures he has nothing to lose, so he joins him on his travels.
They come to a rustic inn. The innkeeper goes out to meet this comical looking pair and Quixote asks permission to come and lodge with him in his “great manor.” The innkeeper is willing to take payment from anyone, even from odd people like these two.
In the Inn is a servant girl. But she does more than just serve the meals…she also provides late night entertainment for many of the male guests. In the musical, Don Quixote sings a song to her changing her name from “Aldonza”, the kitchen wench, to “Dulcinea,” the pure chaste woman of any good man’s dreams. She calls him crazy, for surely he doesn’t know who she is, and what she does. Google the songs from The Man from Lamancha entitled, Aldonza, and Dulcinea.
At the end of the story, Don Quixote has been hit on the head and is on his death bed. He is also coming back to his senses. Probably one of the most moving moments occurs around his bed. Sancho, the innkeeper, and Aldonza come to mourn his worsening condition, and as they do they beg him not to change.
For Don Quixote had touched their lives with the power of affirmation, and in doing so had released them from their meager lives and called them higher to what they wished they could become. Somehow this odd old man had touched the deepest aspirations of everyone he met, and they loved him for it.
Scripture has a lot to day about how God sees each of us. For example, Psalm 145:8 says He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Verse 13b says He is faithful to all of His promises and loving toward all he has made. Scripture also gives direction for each of us as to how we are supposed to treat one another. For example: Hebrews 3:13 says we should encourage one another daily, so the deceitfulness of sin does not harden our hearts.
When we see a person as Jesus sees them, and we accept, affirm, and appreciate them, truthfully, a new being can begin to emerge by the transforming power of Jesus. Live communally. Everyone does better when you give them the triple “A” treatment. Be a Don Quixote.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz