Love, Johnny Carson and Steve Martin

I’ve been reading Steve Martin’s autobiography, Born Standing Up.  I’m a big fan of his, as I admire how prolific he is in so many directions, and I respect his work ethic that built a career block by block.

In his description of Johnny Carson, Steve Martin said this: 

“He enjoyed the unflappable grannies who sewed log-cabin quilts, as well as the Vegas pro who machine-gunned the audience into hysterical fits.  Johnny hosted authors, children, intellects, and nitwits and treated them all well, and he served the audience with his curiosity and tolerance.  He gave each guest — like the ideal America would — the benefit of the doubt: You’re nuts, but you’re welcome here.”

I loved that description and thought it fit so well with how I believe we love each other when (and only when) we ourselves feel filled up by God’s love, when we know we are beloved.  That knowledge drags us away from needing to judge, assess, rank, catalog, manipulate or even understand everyone else.  

We can just love.

And make the other person feel safe and welcome.

And perhaps a byproduct would be that people would always want to take the chair next to us.

Johnny Carson and I don’t have much in common in this regard… but Lord, change me, I pray.  I want more of Johnny’s attitude.

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~ by Cary on December 25, 2008.

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