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Red Carpet

Tom Haverford is a low-level government employee in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana – in the brilliant and hilarious Parks and Recreation series.

But Tom has big dreams. He imagines for himself a glamorous future. He dresses audaciously.

In one episode, he’s tasked with preparing a press event for Leslie Knope – a candidate for city council. He insists on getting her a red carpet for her grand entrance for her speech at a local ice rink.

Unfortunately, his budget doesn’t allow for a carpet that will actually reach all the way to the podium and, of course, disaster ensues.

That’s not the point.

The point in that Tom justifies his decision by explaining that everyone should get to make an entrance. There is nothing that says “I matter” like a red carpet (I’m paraphrasing).

Then, he holds up his shoe to reveal custom inserts made from – you guessed it – red carpet.

“Everywhere I go,” he says, “I’m walking on red carpet.”

That struck me.

You may not have custom inserts made out of red carpet (though if you do, I would love to see them and high-five you).

But when I come into your presence, I come into the presence of someone that might as well be walking on red carpet.

I come into the presence of someone that matters.

I come into the presences of someone made in the image of God.

I come into the presence of someone purposefully created – to be amazing and glorious.

I come into the presence of someone formed and fashioned with inherent worth.

How would it change the way we treated people if we thought of them as walking on red carpet?

You may not be impressed by celebrity – I’m not either.

But what if we were impressed by God? What if we were impressed by what He’s done – by who He has made? What if we were impressed that though we’re all made in Him image we all bear that image differently?

What if we treated one another as the most important person in the room?

I’m not talking about stroking egos or coddling pride.

It’s nothing we’ve done, nothing we’ve accomplished, nothing we’ve achieved.

I’m talking about showing deference and dignity.

I’m talking about stripping our love of conditions.

I’m talking about loving people simply because they’re worth loving.

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