“It was so awkward. We went in and they smiled and welcomed us. We got our drinks. And they just kept smiling.”
Interesting conversation between two seven-year-old girls as they were in our apartment. To grab drinks from the fridge John set up for the kids in the apartment complex.
Obviously not used to being smiled at and welcomed by a roomful of adults.
And what do they know of awkward?
Parents are here for training and teaching. The kids have more freedom in this environment than they have wherever they live. They wander like pack animals, doing things en masse with best friends they haven’t seen in years.
John, very generous-hearted man, decided to offer drinks to these wanderers. He set up a small fridge just inside the door to our apartment for the kids to come grab them whenever they wanted.
Water, Gatorade, CapriSuns, La Croix. If anyone requests something different, he’ll get it.
They come in at all hours. Usually not between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. They rarely knock. They know what they want and they get it.
Grand Central Station.
He rented a big TV as well. The adults come to watch sporting events. The kids come to eat and drink. Conversations ebb and flow. Stressless. Major conversations are happening. Big decisions are being made. The environment lends itself to a calm we don’t often feel back home.
I love it.
Being an extrovert by nature, it’s not hard to engage in conversations with folks who come over. They’re grateful for the chance to sit awhile. Watch a show. Talk about life. Grab a drink. Hear more about people’s stories.
Every now and again, though, I feel a little overwhelmed. If one more small person pops in unannounced or if I’ve used my words for the day (which rarely happens), I long for quiet.
Pretty much having my cake and eating it, too.
I’ve learned to leave. To get out of the apartment for a time. Head to a coffee shop–of which there are many in Ft. Collins. Grab a cup of joe and work. I’m surrounded by folks I don’t know. Who don’t really want to talk to me. Ear buds in, they’re signaling their need for quiet.
People will always trump task with me. It’s how I’m wired. But I do need space every now and again.
Jesus did, too. He ministered to the masses with kindness, meeting needs by feeding crowds in the thousands, healing those who’d lived with sickness for most of their lives. Even raising folks from the dead.
Every now and again, He’d leave. On His own. Not for a breather from people. He loves all people.
He spent time alone with His Father. In deep conversation. Heartfelt communication.
Inevitably folks would find Him. Bring Him back to the need of the immediate.
But His time alone fueled Him to love the masses well. To pursue them with compassion. Even though many hated Him without reason.
Time alone isn’t the key to refreshment.
Time alone with Jesus, talking about my junk, fears and dreams is what fuels me.
Then I can serve the minions. And others.