Recently I picked up a dear friend from the airport. I was a bit early so I circled a few times. (I know, I could sit in the cell phone lot and be productive like my husband always does, but what’s the fun in that?)
As I circled, I people watched. I saw old men hugging their sons goodbye, and young women embracing their husbands upon return. Couple after couple embracing with emotion, loading and unloading luggage in their trunks, carrying each others heavy baggage gladly and effortlessly. I always wonder about the relationship I spy; is this a happy reunion, a sorrowful parting? Is there strain, is there pain?
That night my friend and I went out to dinner and caught up face to face. We solved the worlds problems over fajitas and margaritas and consoled each other over some of our own issues we haven’t seemed to solve yet. There was a couple behind us that I paid no attention to until all the waiters came to sing happy birthday in Spanish to the older woman. There was joyous laughter on the mans face as he delighted in her embarrassment. We debated whether he was her husband or her son but either way you could tell how grateful she was for his thoughtful gesture.
This past week I actually traveled with my husband to meet my family in San Diego for my brothers 50th birthday. Our days were lazy and it was lovely just being together relaxing. My mom and I had gone on a long walk one day, returning exhausted to flop on the couch. She was tired and declared she was going to “Save her energy now as we might walk to dinner later.” Just at that moment the birthday boy came in asking, “Who wants to go for a walk on the beach?” We took a quick look at each other as we rose from the couch and said, “We do!!!” We all walked even farther than before, stopping only for margaritas and a sunset and had thee most fun we’ve had in a long time! We laughed till our sides hurt, told stories old and new, all because we went that extra mile… LITERALLY. We showed up for our person. Not a big deal really, he’d have gone without us, he’s no stranger to the beach.
What an opportunity we would have missed had we been selfish and tired, or not keen to the needs of those around us. You know? It’s ok to go the extra mile for someone; to linger and listen, putting others first. People watch, and fill in the gaps. Carry someones heavy baggage like its yours. Choose joy, choose kindness, make a difference and ease someones pain.
I know I share about this topic a lot. It’s a passion of mine….trying to love my people well.
I love to read in the Bible about how Moses’ friends held up his hands when he was weary from battle. Or that “When two or more are gathered together in his midst, there He can be found.” And that “a cord of three can not easily be broken but woe to him who falls and there is no one to pick him up.” We simply weren’t created to walk this life alone.
I feel surrounded sometimes by sadness. I hear about divorce or death or wayward children and by the time I ask, “What can I do for you?” it seems a bit too late.
Do you know whats going on in the hearts of your children, your husband, your best friend?
What about your neighbor or the gal next to you at the gym? Maybe even your child’s teacher?
Look around at the people God has put in your midst and those just out of reach. Perhaps reach out. You never know what is going on behind closed doors. What if someone let you inside the door and you could see into their family room, into their kitchen, (like a scene from Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol) into their hearts perhaps, and at that very moment before it’s too late, say, “What can I do for you and how can I help?” and then loved them well.
“It’s not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend.”