Growing up, I was never a talent show kid. I never really had something that was “my thing.” I had things I enjoyed like theater and softball, but I can be honest in saying I wasn’t really great at either of them. I spent a lot of my teenage, and even early college years feeling like I wasn’t really good at anything.Somewhere along the way, people just kind of became “my thing.” I wanted to really get to know them, go beyond small talk, and help them in their struggles.
However, loving people also comes with its own complications. People don’t always take your advice or they choose not to change. People are just people, and it means they’re also capable of hurting us. It means being dependable and extending grace, even when we want to check out. It’s draining to love people.
In the midst of those 2am phone calls, texts in the middle of work, and essentially becoming a tenant at the local fast food joint, we forget that it’s a privilege for people to share their lives with us. It is nothing short of sacred for people to choose to be vulnerable enough to share their pain.
A friend retweeted this quote from this year’s Passion conference. It is a powerful reminder in a simple statement. People are fragile, and pain is heavy. In my “thing” of loving people, I’ve heard a little bit of everything. People I love have faced: switching schools,loss of purpose, changing jobs, self harm and eating disorders, struggles with their parents, issues with their children, loneliness, depression and anxiety, financial problems, death, failing marriages, and broken relationships. They have experienced a lot of loss and a lot of uncertainty.
Because of their willingness to trust me, I have been able to see them on the other side. Beautiful things have come from those seasons of pain: engagements and marriages, babies, promotions, freedom from past decisions, empowerment to move forward where they feel called.
It is an honor for people to trust you. It is an even bigger honor for God to trust you with people. James 1:18 says that ” And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession”(NLT). It is no light task for the Creator of the Universe to trust you with the things He loves most. This isn’t just about those seasons or moments in their lives. This is about their whole life, and it has more value and meaning than my sub-par softball skills and my enjoyment of musical theater ever could muster. It is about helping people see God is present in the midst of their pain, and that they are never alone. It is about eternity.
It is an incredible gift to be invited to play a part in people being restored to Him. It’s “my thing”and it is a big thing. It is worth every refill of sweet tea, coffee shop receipt crumbled in my wallet, 45 minute parking lot conversation, and the number of times a week I have to clean out my texts and snaps because my phone’s memory is too full. Loving people is “my thing,” and it is worth spending my whole life doing.