What’s so great about the same?
Granted, there are times when it’s more comfortable to know what to expect. To do something you’re prepared to do. To be able to respond to a situation in a predetermined way.
The adventure is in the unexpected. And people are always the adventure.
What if the unexpected is painful? Difficult? Uncomfortable? Sometimes things have to be adjusted for the sake of people. For the good of people.
The challenge then becomes how willing am I to adjust.
I have the privilege of working with a really great group of people. Our team could best be described as eclectic, but we’re all deeply passionate about our jobs. Our calling.
We care for people.
And people rarely fit the parameters of our expectations.
We walk with folks as they’re moving through transition. Sojourning side by side with those who’ve come from the mission field feeling weary, overworked and wary of next steps.
Everybody gets tired. Frustrated. We all feel the slight of not being recognized for the work we do. It doesn’t matter if you’re the administrative assistant whose boss gets credit for the report you spent hours creating or the bus boy who spends his day cleaning tables from careless customers. Being recognized as a person of value could improve anyone’s perspective on their jobs.
Our team works to create community. In community comes opportunity to better encourage those who might not have had the chance to see that who they are matters.
We have people who’ve experienced tragic loss. Difficult transitions. Complicated decisions. Trying to encourage laughter in the middle of grief or confusion can feel wrong. Uncomfortable. The juxtaposition of pain and fun feels funky.
So we adjust. We do it differently. We focus on where people are and what they need rather than our expectations of what they should accomplish.
And if it means acting somewhat weirdly, so be it. Different isn’t bad. It’s often fun.
What we’ve found is that focusing on the development of the heart and character helps folks become better able and more motivated to do their jobs well.
I don’t know why this is so amazing. Caring for people should be something I do naturally. I know how I respond when someone makes it a point to ask after my needs. How I’m really doing. Or offers help to get me past a stuck place. It’s the impetus I need to try harder. To recognize that someone’s got my back.
That I matter.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Jesus talked often how people would be able to identify His followers by their love for one another. Caring for people was why He came in the first place.
“We love each other because He loved us first.” 1John 4:19
Jesus loves us with a tenderness and compassion that we can’t grasp. Unselfish and unconditional. He gives us the power to love and care for others that way because He’s chosen to demonstrate that love to us.
It’s life changing when people are cared for and treated as if they matter.
Lead with love and respect. Compassion and grace.
That’s a difference that can mean something.
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