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Are You a Celebrity?

Are You a Celebrity?

I was helping out at the vaccine clinic last week and was doing what is perhaps my favorite job, which is holding an elderly person’s hand in hopes to give them the extra courage they needed to face the needle. This particular lovely person I was getting to perform this job for was a woman named Doris. She was a pure delight to meet. She was a proud mother of her daughter and her love for the Lord was contagious.

Good news for Doris – the shot happened without a flinch. Her smile widened once it was over. I told her it was a pleasure meeting her and got up to leave. That was when the nurse who had administered the shot said, “You know, that guy who just held your hand is a celebrity.”

Doris and her daughter, who was next in line to get a shot, both sat up and looked at me with different eyes. I just smiled and shook my head.

Here’s the thing. I’m not a celebrity…not really (more on that in a bit).

What the nurse was talking about is that I wrote a little piece for Everyday Exiles a few months ago about volunteering at the vaccine clinic. It so happened that said article found its way around the hospital and got emailed to everybody. Without my knowledge, I became the poster-boy for getting vaccinated. Ha!

Now, even with that under my belt, I still don’t believe that I qualify for celebrity status. However, it did get me thinking.

The word, at least the derivative, was on my mind all last week. This was because last week we celebrated a friend and over the weekend we had our End of the Year Celebration. All week I was planning for these events. That is why the word was on my mind.

I don’t think I ever saw the similarity between the words: celebrity – celebration. I knew what celebrate meant – we did it at my house last week when we threw a send-off party for one of our dear friends who is moving to Chapel Hill to start working for a ministry there. We came. We reflected on who she is and what she has meant to us. We affirmed her gifts. And we blessed her with prayers, hugs, grace, truth, and a whole lot of love.

We celebrated this weekend with the group I serve. We gathered together with family and friends and did the same thing. We celebrated.

But were they celebrities?

If you look up the word in the Oxford Dictionary, two definitions pop up.

The first is celebrity: a famous person.

Which was not them, and it is not me. As cool as these folks are, neither of these events made it onto TMZ.

But the second definition is this: celebrity: the state of being well known.

In that sense, yes, this is them. My friend we celebrated and these Fellows we celebrated last week were that. They were known. Well known even. And that was worthy of celebrating.

As sweet as I was to Doris – I did not reach this threshold for celebrity status. Doris doesn’t know me well. I showed her a picture of my family; I held her hand; but that isn’t enough to count.

Not compared to the gift my friends mentioned above gave to us. They let me know them well. And that has given them celebrity status in our lives.

How about you?

Who knows you well? Who is a celebrity to you? And who are you a celebrity to?

Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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