Sunday, July 10, 2011

We're dealing with people, here.

One thing my roommate and I talk about often, especially because we love to over-analyze late into the night (bad habit) is that we are relationally investing in people's lives, and that is just it, they are real people. Real people with real feelings, emotions, pasts and scars. This is our friend Anthony (He told us we could take this picture). We are just getting to know him, but he has become a fast friend of ours and lives close by. He calls what we're doing in the neighborhood our "grand experiment." Sounds about right.

It is one thing to give someone a plate of food, another to sit with them and eat - but what about when you bring them into your home and have them eat with you at your table? What does that do to someone? Good things, yes. But what about deep in their soul? Is something shifting? When you bring someone in and love them, someone who hasn't been loved well in a very long time, or maybe never, something inside of them comes alive. It doesn't matter how old you get, you still want to be loved and treated well; you still want to be wanted. As I've watched friends come into our house, I watch the walls literally crash to the ground; whole new levels of intimacy are created in ones' home.

These are all positive things, and this is the life we want to be living. But we're scared. Scared of what this intimacy does to a person. Will it make them needy? Will it put expectations on us or in our other neighbors? How on earth can we not only maintain, but nurture and care for as we should all of the people coming into our lives?

The same thoughts could be had when getting a new job, or going to a new school, we just don't usually take the time to think about our interactions with other people this much. Sometimes we become consumed with one sole person, and all of our attention is shifted and focused. I know I tend to run away from intimate relationships when they get too deep or we get to the place of no return. Relationships ebb and flow, and we've already seen this happen in our new neighborhood. We'll see it again. We'll try our hardest to love people, and do what is best for them, not filling our own relationship or friendship needs with them.

I can't forget that we have God on our side, fighting for us and with us. He is helping us and covering us, and our community, too.

"Oh be kind to your small person friends. Every Who may be somebody's mother. Be kind to any Who on every speck. Any one of them might likely be your brother." - Dr. Seuss


Donna Boucher said...

This would make Francis Schaffer smile...
Jesus too.

Brenda on the S OR Coast said...

Awesome thoughts. It is very scary to love well. The only reassurance I find is in knowing that Jesus can meet all of everyone's needs: Yours, Mine, Theirs. And, ultimately, if we are teaching people to come to us and depend on us to get their love-needs met, we'll leave them disappointed and ourselves drained and discouraged. If, however, we are leading them to the one who never disappoints and has unlimited resources, AND we are going to Him to be filled up, as well, there's more than enough love to go around...

Thanks for sharing your journey!

Emma said...

Brenda thank you for that comment!

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