For the past four days, I’ve been with a Special Gathering member from another state who had wanted to go on a cruise.  The program director acts as a volunteer for the state agency that provides services for this member.  She choses the Disney Cruise Lines.  The extra cost of a Disney cruise is minimal; and the benefits for our members are huge. There were only three of us on the cruise (along with 2700 other people).  Over the course of the past four days, it has been an interesting adventure.

  Of course, the cruise staff was super friendly.  They made over Missy, our member, as though she were a rock star.  When she decided to skip the evening meal in favor of a hamburger and French fries, they sought her out and told her how much they had missed her at supper.  One Disney staff member even asked about our daughter, even though, Missy is a different race.  Jokes and friendly greetings were the common denominator.  Sure, they are paid to be friendly.  However, their helpful attitudes became a highlight of our trip.

I was impressed that simple friendly gestures can make such a large difference to a person.  Because of her medications, Missy seldom shows emotions.  Yet, she beamed as the staff teased her and giggled when they cried fake tears regarding her absence.  At first, their greetings were met with stares of disbelief; but by the end of the cruise, she was smiling and gesturing along with them.  The Bible says that in order to have friends we must be friendly.  “A soft answer turns away wrath.”  Making friends is often the result of a myriad of small friendly gestures and overtures.

There are many times that I don’t feel like being friendly and kind.  However, it takes only a little effort to be able to influence others for good.  I’m ashamed to admit this.  Nevertheless, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I’m praying that God will help me to become like the friendly and courteous staff on a Disney cruise.