Love Like A Local
Welp. Summer sure is in full swing here in Jackson (if you haven’t noticed.) It seems to me that we’ve come roaring out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re all trying to make up for lost time. And, it feels like we’re hosting a significant portion of America while we’re at it.
Each of us who is devoted to this church, this town, this beloved valley knows that our current level of visitors means both gain and loss for our community. I’m choosing to focus on the benefits while being honest about the challenges such a large influx of visitors mean for our town. I don’t know about you, but I can see the stress on the bright faces of our local workforce. And, honestly, I’m a little worried about them.
So, as we are prone to do around here, we’ve been thinking both lovingly and creatively about what we might do to express our deep gratitude for the local workforce here in Jackson. And, we’ve hatched a plan.
I have in my office a box of 500 small envelopes—the kind the slip your hotel keys in when you check into a hotel. On one side of the envelope, it reads, “Love Like a Local.” On the other side, it says, “Local workers are the lifeblood of Jackson Hole. We know the work can be thankless, and we want to express our appreciation and gratitude. YOU are an essential part of our community. Thanks for your part in keeping Jackson up and running.” I’ve passed some out already, asking those who’ve taken them to put a gift card to Albertson’s or Smith’s or a $20 bill or a $10 bill or a $5 bill inside. Give it to the guy who changes your oil or the gal who checks your bag at the airport or the waiter who brought your cheeseburger or the driver shuttling your truck, or the team trimming your grass. Wherever you think a little extra love might be needed, wherever you see that strain in someone’s eyes or face, then drop it in their hand as a thanks.
Church family, the stories are already drifting in. Surprise and thanks at the Dairy Queen drive-thru. A plumber on the verge of tears after a house call. More to come, I’m absolutely certain.
Here’s the dealio. You won’t find our church logo on these envelopes anywhere. It’s not about that. And, I know, it’s a small town, and it’ll likely get out, but we can quietly and lovingly make a difference in the lives of these important people giving all the credit to God, who we know to be love.
If you want some of these envelopes, I’ll have a pocket full on Sunday. Just ask, and I’ll give you a few. If you’re working four jobs and trying to keep your chin above water, there’s one with your name on it!