I’m not much of a jewelry kind of gal, but I have a few pieces that I consider priceless.
My engagement ring. John bought it from my uncle, a gifted jeweler, who created a simple setting that has been a reminder of how much I cherish my marriage.
I’ve a sister ring that my little sister created for herself, my twin and me. We all wear them as an expression of the tight bond between us. We’re connected by heart as well as blood, so this ring is special.
I don’t collect the stuff. It has to mean more than just being a pretty bauble.
I collect friends.
I’ve got this amazing job where I get to work with a team of folks I dearly love and appreciate. To top it off, every year we get a new group of people from all over the world to encourage, build into and enjoy. Folks I’d never have a chance to meet apart from what I do.
When the year is over, though, many of them move away. To start a new phase of life and ministry. To begin again.
This doesn’t make me a happy camper. Not being a camper by avocation anyway, I’m doubly unhappy.
As I get older, the more I appreciate the value of people. True gems sparking on the dark cloth of a tough world. Relationships matter.
Does that mean I get along with everyone? Heavens, no. I rub people the wrong way. I’m a tad opinionated and very wordy.
There are those who aren’t my cup of tea. Folks that I don’t naturally connect with–or want to connect with.
That doesn’t lessen the value of people. As our current group of new friends prepares to move on, I’m feeling the loss. Even if they all stayed, it wouldn’t be the same because a new group comes in and we begin the process of life coaching all over again.
Discovering the uniqueness of others is a gift we receive from God. It’s easy to jump to conclusions and trust first impressions. Before I know anything about another’s story. What’s gone on to bring them to this point. How they’ve been treated. What’s been expected of them. How they’ve been loved–or not loved.
I’ve journeyed life with the folks I’ve spent time with this year. I’ve learned to see the world through their eyes. Heard stories that made me smile and also brought a tear to my eyes. Saw character as people faced their circumstances and chose to deal rather than run.
The more time I spent with people, the more questions I was willing to ask them and not make it about me, the more I grew to know who they really were.
The more precious they became to me.
People are worth time. If I can take the focus off me to really see those around me, I’ll become a better person for allowing others in.
When I realize how much God enjoyed making each of us, with our personalities and talents, it reminds me that we all have something to offer others.
You can’t put a price on that.
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