A while back I was in a meeting where I knew two of the people pretty well, better than they knew each other. As the two of them sat facing each other, I realized that her tone of voice, her questions, were going to aggravate him. As his face grew still, his tone of voice evened out, slightly deeper and louder than usual, I watched her push his metaphorical buttons without realizing what she was doing. And I thought of what it would take to push mine.
We all have buttons, some for our qualities that we enjoy, that we know about and so others don’t get to control them; others for the qualities we try to hide, but in so doing we lose control. Those are our shadow buttons. Certain people make comments or treat others–sometimes just chew their food–in a way that pushes our shadow buttons.
This Sunday, Luke’s gospel lesson is the one typically known as the prodigal son, except we’ll focus on the brother who stayed, the one my third-generation Presbyterian pastor husband calls the Presbyterian son. He’s the brother who does everything right, but whose buttons get pushed when his younger brother returns home.
I hope you’ll consider who pushes your buttons – not because I want you to be aggravated, but because when we see they’re only buttons, we open ourselves to God’s grace! Don’t miss this Sunday – and bring a friend! Maybe even one who knows your buttons…
Grace and peace,