Roughly four years ago I was a college student working part-time at my university’s library. While I was interested in my library and liked the “adults” (aka, the full-time staff members) who worked there, changes in most of the staff positions didn’t really affect me all that much. When Melissa started working as the library’s business secretary, I didn’t think of it as an opportunity to be mentored by an amazing woman. I was just coming to work and going home. Over the years, however, I began to appreciate the incredible opportunity God had given me.
After I graduated I was hired into a part-time staff position. Among many other changes, this brought me a schedule change. Melissa always worked the opening shift, making sure everything got open with plenty of time for students to get their papers printed in the mornings before their 8 o’clock classes, and now I was working this shift with her.
I grew to love those moments in the morning before everyone else got there where Melissa and I would sip our coffee and share our hearts. She used words to remind me of concepts once learned and recently forgotten, but more importantly, she showed me how to live by how she lived. She seemingly eats and breathes compassion and hospitality, always trying to make sure the people around her are taken care of. She showed me that it’s just money, and people are more important than money every single time. She showed me the value of believing the best of people and giving them the benefit of a doubt. Maybe that person acted mean because he’s worried about his sick wife; maybe that person hurt you because she herself is hurting. She showed me that one can be strong and need a hug all at the same time, and one does not lessen the other.
She showed me how to love those around me.
So here’s to you, Melissa, for teaching me how to live with grace and compassion.