by King’s High School Senior Cameron Crispeno
“Stop for the One,” King’s High School chapel theme for 2017-18, crossed the ocean to land at Kings. Heidi Baker, founder of Iris Ministries based in Pemba, Mozambique, has shaped her ministry around this principle. She makes a practice of seeing the person right in front of her, stopping for them and showing them attention and love. She has seen God work in amazing ways when she does this. I have had the privilege of traveling to Mozambique the last two summers and have been so inspired by Heidi’s principle and example that it seemed a fitting theme to explore in this year’s chapels.
This summer, our small mission group of five happened to be on the same flight leaving Mozambique as Heidi, and even though I am sure she was tired and would have welcomed time to herself on the plane ride, she made a point (when she found out we had been in Pemba) to spend the flight getting to know our group and me personally. She asked a lot of questions, showed interest in each of us individually and encouraged us to live love and what we believe. Learning about us, encouraging us and loving on us was an expression of the very motto she lives by: Stop for the One.
As the Spiritual Life Representative for KHS, I am charged with coming up with the year’s chapel theme. I wanted something challenging and accessible and something everyone could participate in, regardless of their belief system. Stopping for the one seemed to fit these parameters. Many people today feel isolated, alone, overwhelmed, and unloved. Rather than making love something abstract or complicated, this idea makes it simple. Stopping for the person right in front of you, paying attention to them and seeing where that leads is something everyone can do. It works for extroverts. It works for introverts. It works whether you are a Christian, an agnostic, a Muslim or someone who isn’t sure what they believe.
I encourage everyone to try this, even just for a week: stop for at least one person every day and really pay attention to them, be curious about them and kind to them. It could be looking the Starbucks barista in the eye and asking them how their day is going or choosing to sit by someone you wouldn’t ordinarily plop down by. Just stopping for the one even once per day can make a huge impact on the people around you and spread love, kindness and build community and bridges.