The ‘how’ or ‘what’ of that need might be obvious—or it might be unclear. But the need is there.
- A friend needs someone non-judgmental to talk to.
- A child needs help with a problem that’s drowning them.
- A spouse need encouragement for a life change.
- The list goes on.
- Who’s that person in your life?
But we’re busy, aren’t we? One of the pervasive problems in today’s modern world is busyness. It’s the tyranny we agree to. Although it’s exhausting, there can be a comfort to busyness—knowing we’re valued, needed, “doing something.”
But what are we missing?
- A still small voice? Of God, inviting us?
- Of someone close to us, sending discreet signals for help?
We often believe the myth that busyness equals faithfulness. But not necessarily.
1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love “always trusts.” On Sunday (you can listen to the podcast here) I said that one way to understand that phrase is that love always believes in the other person. And one of the main ways we can show someone we believe in them is this:
Show up when they need you. Phone off, truly present, in the moment. Let your schedule be trumped once in a while. Listen for a cry in the dark which might be a cry to you. Watch for the long exhale signaling exasperation. Be vulnerable by admitting you don’t know the answer to a problem, but be loyal in your willingness to be present through the struggle.
Show up. Don’t let busyness be the thing that actually takes you out of the game (when you thought it was the thing that put you in.)
I know that busyness happens. I have those weeks too. The extra workload, the family’s needs, the unexpected crisis that needs attention. But are these exceptions, or your Way?
I have a suspicion: that the fortress of busyness we construct around ourselves is actually often meant to control our environment—to bring to our lives a kind of smaller-chaos to shield and distract us from the greater chaos of our hurting world and it’s vacuous need. Even our faith in God can be intimidating because we know he calls us to big things—things which are often beyond our control, and which lead us out of our safe places.
But God is always with us. “Do not fear.”
First, do not fear because you’re not alone. And second, do not fear because you’re not God.
We can benefit from how Jean Vanier says it: “…let us not put our sights too high. We do not have to be saviours of the world! We are simply human beings, enfolded in weakness and in hope, called together to change our world one heart at a time.”
Show up. One heart at a time.