In FocusMagazine

Elevator etiquette


Elevators can be uncomfortable places. Recently, I was riding in an elevator with about eight young people. I was the only old person, the only “unknown” in the group. An interesting elevator conversation ensued.

One person said, “Why is it that no one ever makes eye contact on an elevator?” Another person agreed, “That’s true. You don’t even look at people you know in the elevator. Maybe that’s why they put this poster on the wall—to give you something to look at besides each other.”

So true! I was struck by the thought that an elevator is a fake environment.

Or is it?

Is the elevator a microcosm of our larger world and just one of the many uncomfortable places in which we live and move?

Do we actually make eye contact, or any type of contact for that matter, with the people who cross our paths? Or do we instead look at the “poster on the wall”?

As I pondered that encounter on the elevator, I was challenged in my own life to make eye contact “in the elevator” or wherever God places me. I pray, Lord, give me boldness in the uncomfortable places of life, to bring your joy, to speak your words, to break the silence. Amen.

By the way, when we finally exited that elevator, we were all smiling and even laughing. It’s amazing what a few kind words can do.

—  Colonel G. Lorraine Bamford
Territorial Secretary of Women’s Ministries

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