Jon Heydenreich

Jon Heydenreich

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Thirty years ago I went to a church where my predecessor was criticized because his robe was not long enough for some folks. They told me about it. It was not above his knees or something ridiculous, but it needed to be longer — according to the bosses. They wanted a few more inches.

To their credit they bought him a new robe they thought sufficiently long. I wondered what I was in for.

Over the years they never said a word to me. I guess my robe was long enough. But it has all these coffee stains on it. I even notice those! But in 30 years nary a word uttered.

Through it all, however, I have been conscious of those stains. Thirty years and counting. But I am with a new group of people these days and stuff like that doesn’t matter.

Be mindful of the comments we make. They can make a lasting impression in ways we may never realize – positive as well as negative.

Jon Heydenreich is pastor at Brattleboro’s Trinity Lutheran Church.