Lisa Adams is on a much deserved vacation this week, and I’m here to fill in. Hi. I’m Nicole. I work as the Web Administrator here at Crossroads. I also volunteer with our High School Ministry. This year, I had the privilege of spending the year with a group of 12th grade girls who have added so much laughter and love to my life. We went from just meeting on Tuesdays to coffee dates to them showing up on my door step because they had nothing else to do. Our small group became like family. They left for college this week, and my heart is overflowing with love and excitement for them.
One thing you should know about me right away is that I’m a relationship person. I love being with people. It’s always surprising who God puts into my life and how they’ve shaped me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. Most of the time it’s people I would have never expected, in a time that is completely inconvenient. But, I love my people. They are a melting pot of ages, genders, and walks of life. They are a hilarious bunch that keeps me laughing and keeps me honest. I am so grateful for their time and love.
Much like God, or, rather, because of Him, we are also in the pursuit business. At the heart of everyone is the need to belong. To be loved. To be valued. We spend our lives looking for the people that bring out the best in us. The people with whom we can truly be ourselves, our people.Many of us are lucky enough to have it. Our people get us. They know us. They see us. They’ve been there with us. They’ve held our hands. They’ve helped us fix our broken cars, and broken hearts. They’ve celebrated and cheered us on. They are the type of people we can’t get rid of because they’ve become a part us. And, well, you just don’t want to take the chance that old prom pictures or videos from the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s will end up on a Throw Back Thursday. Am I right?
The truth is, though, that life with meaningful relationships is the way that we understand better what Jesus’ love for us looks like. Author Shauna Niequist says, “When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life.” And how true is that? If we have people who love us even after we’ve hurt them or after we’ve told them all our junk, don’t we begin to see what unconditional love looks like, just a little? When we let people know us, we get to see more of who Jesus is and how he pursues us.
There are people who don’t know love like that. They could be sitting next to you, or down the road, across the oceans or border. They, too, desperately want to be known, and seen and loved. We have an amazing call in our lives to be the people who love them. To be the people who were found and now are finding others. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
Serving is about relationships. It’s about that first step of saying “I see you,” and moving towards “I want to know you.” Whether we’re at a food shelf or tutoring a kid or if you’re in Mexico or Africa we are looking past the brokenness, past the dust, past the language barrier, and we are seeing people. People created in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully made, who are just waiting to be seen and to be loved. When we serve, we are linking arms saying, “We’re in this together, friend, I will not let you down.”
Is there someone in your life who needs to be seen? Have you thought about reaching out to a child to give him a place to belong through adoption? Have you thought about a mission trip? Why not start taking steps now, to make those thoughts actions?
If you’re not sure where to start, I urge you to pray into those feelings and ask God to lead you…somewhere. I pray that you have the boldness and the bravery to go where He’s leading. We’re also offering a Strengthening Families Roundtable on Sept 15, which will offer information on adoption and foster care. Also, there is an informational meeting about a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico in October, details here.
Who knows who you will meet and what that meeting will do in both of your lives, and how God will work in all of it to bring a little more of Heaven on earth. This weekend we are bringing ourPursued series to a close with a very special story about the Andersons’ pursuit of their daughter, and how it has changed all of them. You won’t want to miss it!
As Bob Goff says, “Just go love people”…now that’s an order I can get behind.
See you this weekend!