Okay, let’s toss aside the false humility and self-deprecation for a second and shoot straight. God has gifted me in several areas. I know this. And the ones that immediately come to mind are things that come easily to me–writing, speaking, offering words of encouragement to people…
HOWEVER. There is one thing (well, one I’m going to focus on) that I am NOT good at. And actually, to say that I’m not good at it is a complete cop-out. Because the truth is: I choose not to be good at it. Because it’s hard for me. And I’m selfish.
What is it, you ask? Tell us! Tell us!
Well, if you had an ounce of sense (did I mention I have the gift of encouragement?), the title would’ve given it away. What am I not good at?
As in, just sitting with someone and being there. Having no agenda, being in no hurry, not getting up to check something on my computer. Just being there.
I want to get better at this. Not just so I can feel better about myself. Not so I can check another good deed off my list. But because being there requires selflessness, and I want my life to be characterized much, much more by that than it is at the moment.
Because being there requires trust. Trust that God will help me take care of all those terribly pressing, incredibly urgent tasks that won’t get tended to if I’m just sitting there being there.
Today my friend Val came over for a few hours. Val is the dear girl you’ve been praying for, the one who has eight little babies waiting for her in heaven. Val didn’t need me to say one more time, “I’m praying for you.” She didn’t need an e-mail or a facebook message or an encouraging tweet. She needed someone to be there.
And I’m thankful God chose me to be the one to be there for her today. Because even though I haven’t had a chance to ask Val if the day was a blessing to her, I know it was a blessing to me.
And God also gave me an opportunity to be there for my friend Kim. She brought lunch and hung out with Val and me for a bit, then left Kara, her 4-year-old, with us while she went to Children’s Hospital to be there for Billy and Amy while 3-week-old Gregory had an MRI done. Kim has been through this many much times with Miss Kara, so she could offer words of encouragement to a very anxious Mommy and Daddy who have already lost one baby and couldn’t bear to think of losing another.
Here’s gorgeous Gregory (oh, I could just eat him!), and PRAISE THE LORD! The bump on his back was just a calcified bruise that will take care of itself. Not cancer, not a tumor, not anything serious AT ALL. PRAISE YOU, JESUS!
All that to say–I want to be there for people. People matter to me because they matter to Jesus. And I want them to know it, to believe it (especially if their love language is quality time). Yes, I realize that I’m a wife and a mom and an author and a speaker with lots of friends and tons of connections, so there are honestly times when I can’t be there for people. But if it’s selfishness holding me back? Or a lack of trust? Then I want to be done with those excuses.
I want to be there.