Monday Devotional
Dear Friend,  
I am indebted to Hoosier author Carol Faenzi for the insights that lead to today’s devotion.  Carol wrote “The Stonecutter’s Aria” about her Italian ancestors who left the marble quarries of Tuscany to settle in Indiana.   
In a recent blog, she wrote about visiting Ellis Island, the port of entry for her ancestors and many others who came to settle in the United States.  For these weary travelers, the first sighting of land would have been followed by the image of the Statue of Liberty indicating that their destination was near.  Many of these immigrants were leaving behind difficult circumstances—poverty, political turmoil, religious persecution and social limitations.  Arriving in the United States was a chance to find a fresh start.  
Immigrants from around the world were processed through Ellis Island. Though speaking different languages and possessing difficult cultures, one thing they shared in that brief time of waiting was a meal in the Ellis Island dining room. The menu featured a variety of foods familiar to the travelers from Italy, Poland, Germany, Norway and many others.   
But the most fascinating thing about this is that newly arrived guests were served with fine china and silver.  It didn’t matter whether they had arrived in the first-class cabins or the most modest of accommodations.  Everyone ate in the same dining room, treated like royalty.  After a long and arduous journey they were welcomed with the finest luxury.  
I think that is a valuable lesson for the way we treat all people.  We should treat all folks with great dignity, letting them know that they are important.  The Benedictine monks have a tradition that when they answer a knock at the door, they treat the person like it is Jesus in disguise.  It feels good to be on the receiving end of such respect and dignity.  
Think about those you meet this week and treat them with the respect and kindness you would offer to a celebrity or dignitary.  Make someone feel special.  Show them respect and honor.  Such kindness may be the doorway to a new beginning.