There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory
When I review my day, I can see their fuzzy faces in my mind.
The young mother working at Sam’s who asked me when my baby started walking because her baby hasn’t started walking. There is worry buried in her question.
The middle schooler who cries because she can’t produce on paper the picture she has in her mind. She loudly berates herself and slams her pencil down, not sure if she is enough.
The friend online who posts one happy picture after another. Is life really that good on the other side of the screen?
The husband who picks and pokes and jokes to get a laugh. He is fighting for attention because it is hard to get in between the kids and the chores and my selfishness.
That awareness that every person is a soul is easily lost in this marathon of life. Especially as we put forth our best efforts through tweets, pins and pictures. We create the facade that we are strong and healthy, when, in fact, our faces are blacker than soot and our skin has shriveled on our bones (Lamentations 4:8).
Life is hard and we often pretend that it is not. How are you? Fine, and you? Fine. We attend Bible studies and nod our heads at clever thoughts and shake our heads at sad stories. We slide our cards at the checkout without a glance at the person standing there behind the counter. Dare I utter the words “social media” without the thought of shiny bows and happy people coming to mind?
We look around and see beauty and perfection all around us, but behind those screens sit real people with real problems dealing with real issues. We are, each one of us, in need of a Savior. Can we let down our guard and be vulnerable and real with some people so that we may journey together toward the cross?
Start with a look inward. Acknowledge sin. Speak the pain. Expose the darkness. Preach the Gospel to yourself daily. Heal from the hurts you carry through the balm of scripture. Turn from those vices that keep you at arms length from your Savior through the power of the Spirit.
Then, look outward. Truly look. See that worried mother and speak encouragement. Stop the busy and hold that child close and let her know she is enough. Hit the power button on your iThing and sit at the table with a friend for real conversation. Look someone in the eye and remind them that they are loved.
Open up. Vulnerability breeds intimacy. It is so hard to tell the first story. But, when you do, you will find others saying, “me, too.” Two powerful words: me, too. We all need to hear that.
Bravery goes viral, but one person always has to go first. When you go first with your story, your dream and your hustle you give everyone in the room a really powerful gift. You give them the gift of going second. It’s hard to go first. You don’t know the rules yet, you don’t know how it will be accepted, there’s no precedent. It’s easier to go second, which is why the world needs you to be brave first. Jon Acuff, Do Over
There are no ordinary people, only immortals. Will you be an immortal horror or an everlasting splendor?
People crave what they have always craved: to be known and loved, to belong somewhere. Community is such a basic human need. It helps us weather virtually every storm. Jen Hatmaker, For the Love (releasing August 2015, available for pre-order)
There are people trapped all around us–people who need help, people who need hope, people who need healing. We must listen as they cry out from the depths, desperate for us to hear them and come to their rescue. Aaron Chambers, Eats With Sinners
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