You know what I think this world needs more of? PDAs. We need more PDAs in our everyday lives. There are way too many people who never even think about PDAs on daily basis. Some people even shun them! I think everyone should be given some sort of PDA, and they should be given away freely! Those who have should be looking for opportunities to give to those who don’t-and who desperately need a PDA!
Oh, but wait. You probably think I’m talking about PDAs (“Portable Digital Assistants”)-iPhones, Blackberrys, Sidkicks, etc. No, there are plenty of those around. I’m talking about “Public Displays of Affection.” There is way too little affection in the world.
I believe that everyone of us encounters at least one person every day who needs a little love. Think about how often you feel low, upset, sad, worried or uncertain about yourself. In all kinds of ways we face negative circumstances that affect us in big ways. Many times a simple act of kindness is all it takes to get you back on track.
Now multiply what you experience by all the people you come into contact with each day. Consider not only the people you know and say, “hello” to, but all the countless strangers you encounter. What thoughts are going through their minds? What might be responsible for the frown on their face, the furrowed brow, or even the harsh remarks they make in response to some insignificant offense. What might a simple PDA do to change their day?
I think this need for more PDAs goes even deeper, too. Showing love is at the root of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that the most important commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” The second is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31) It is a challenge for Christians to fully grasp how to apply these principles in our lives. How much more so for someone who doesn’t know what it means to be a Christian? The only way for them to truly understand it is to experience it.
I am often astonished when I hear people expressing concern about Christians “sharing their faith.” Christians and what they stand for are considered something to be avoided at all costs. Something is seriously wrong with this. I understand that there are reasons for this attitude, but do they understand that the thing they are avoiding is the offer of greater and deeper love?
Here is where an abundance of PDAs becomes really important. There are people in this world who have no idea what authentic love looks and feels like. From their perspective “normal life” means things like anger, disappointment, bitterness and loss. What would happen if some stranger, who knows of the depths of God’s love for the world, went out of their way to express love-even in some small way-to them. It could completely shake up their view of the world! A person could be utterly changed because you took the initiative to show them something they never expected in this world-loving kindness.
So, how about it? Can you find some ways to increase PDAs? It doesn’t have to be anything wild and crazy (though, sometimes that might be just what a person needs!) A simple smile or word of encouragement could make a big difference for someone. Or maybe you just need to take action and follow-up anytime you think something nice about a person. Let them know! You never know what kinds of difference a PDA will make in someone’s day. It could just change their life!