“Ugh…here she comes again..”
As I was talking to an acquaintance at church, she interrupted our conversation by rolling her eyes and warning me about the brown haired lady walking towards us.
I didn’t know either woman particularly well; just that we were all in the same Sunday School class. We talked at class parties and get-togethers but I never went anywhere with them individually or talked with either on the phone.
The brown haired lady came up and was friendly. As she chatted about her weekend and her kids, I was trying to figure out what the other blonde lady had against her. The brown haired lady wasn’t mean-spirited…she wasn’t rude…she didn’t smell bad…she wasn’t snobby. I thought she was nice. I couldn’t figure out the disdain.
As the brown haired lady walked away, the blonde one replied, “Sorry…she just rubs me the wrong way. She’s so needy!”
A few weeks later, our Sunday School class had a ladies spa day at our leader’s home. I quietly heard the blonde haired lady and her friend talking negatively again.
I felt a lot of emotions surface. Disappointment, primarily, because I deeply believe home and church are two places everybody should feel loved, cared about, encouraged, and valued. Everybody should fit in. I don’t like feeling conflict among friends at church…and we’re all going to live in the same Heaven, so harmony and kindness should be strong prerequisites.
I felt sadness for the brown haired lady. How terrible to have someone dislike you just because life left you filled with heartache, grief, or a deep need for validation. I wanted so badly to tell the brown haired lady to quit wasting her time trying to get that other blonde woman and her friends to like her. Sadly, they had already made up their minds and “marked” her. She could pay for an all-inclusive vacation for a girls trip, and they still wouldn’t like her.
I decided I was going to invite the brown haired lady out for coffee.
As I got to know the brown haired lady, I found out she deeply struggled with self esteem. I could tell she desperately needed friends and needed someone to care. She had some baggage that she didn’t know how to process, so it totally did make her appear needy.
But aren’t we all needy? Don’t we all call our mom…spouse…sibling(s)…friends…or other family members…when we need to cry or vent?
Haven’t we all had a family member, coworker, “friend,” or acquaintance who hasn’t fully realized our value, or who is ungrateful, or makes us feel less than our God-given worth?
And don’t we all have baggage? Either because we foolishly packed it in “life’s” suitcase on our own, or because someone dumped issues in our bag from their wrong or selfish choices?
We are all alike…and we each have been taught – or learned on our own – coping skills or resolutions to life’s issues. Some positive; some negative.
This scenario took place years ago, yet I never forgot it.
It has served as a reminder to be kind to others…to show compassion…to take the time to care…to not be a snob…to do my best to look at others with the eyes of Christ.
Jesus didn’t gravitate towards the cool people – the people who had it “all together.” He purposely chose to look for people He could love back to life. He didn’t see neediness…He simply saw needs to be met.
I challenge everybody to think about the people in your life…all of them.
How about we each make the commitment to reject exclusivity…and instead see each person’s exclusive value?
Let’s get painfully honest and real: who’s the last person who walked towards you and you thought, “Ugh…here she/he comes again..”
Next time you see them, consider thinking, “Here comes a valuable masterpiece straight from God who I get the privilege of being kind to…and possibly get to help love back to life..”
Who can you say a kind word to this week and who can you offer encouragement to?
Everybody has great treasure inside of them. Some have had so much mud thrown at them in life that their baggage became heavy, covering the true heart God planted inside them. Kindness (and compassion) is the antidote that helps wash the mud away…so their true heart can fully bloom.
Choose to see treasure in everyone you meet. It’s there.
We each are exclusively handcrafted by God Himself. We each have been intricately designed with unique talents, skills, personalities, and purpose.
Choose to be the kind of person who sees – and brings out – the good in everyone you meet.
Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.”
Malachi 2:10, “Don’t all of us have one Father? Didn’t one God create us? Why then do we act treacherously against one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?”
Romans 12:10, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Gratitude & many blessings,
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