My husband and I just moved across the country, which was monumental for two home-grown Indiana kids. Besides a few summers abroad here or there, neither of us have ever lived outside of the Hoosier state, and now we are officially Colorado residents.
We knew my husband’s career change from accounting to aviation required a move, but even after the months spent meticulously planning, interviewing, praying, questioning, processing, and searching, we still had a million and one emotions. Pride that we were chasing our dreams no matter the cost mingled with a deep sorrow to leave behind a life that we so strongly loved. We bounced back and forth between both emotions so many times that we often were caught in the middle, the sweet spot where joy and sadness often lay intermingled. Our friends-turned-family got the brunt of it. Countless hours turned months of updates and tears and excitement fell on patient ears, opening their hearts up to ours as we transitioned through such a massive change.
Throughout the six months that it took us to transition, I often wondered how much was too much. When would our friends tire of hearing about our constant life changes? How many times would I be able to pour my heart out before my words would fall on weary ears? I would hold back, with the intent to give our loved ones a break from our life saga, and yet we would still be pursued. “What’s the latest update?” would be the weekly question, and each time it was asked, I felt loved a little more.
I think sometimes we think that being Jesus equates to action, but I would contend that much of Jesus’ ministry boiled down to listening and asking questions with the intent of allowing others to be fully known.
We live in a fast paced society. When we are asked for money on the street, we feel the best course of action is to pull out our wallets, instead of looking people in the eye and offering respect. When someone we love shares a difficult secret, we often look for the quick solution, instead of just sitting in the discomfort with them. Don’t get me wrong: taking action is a wonderful thing, but it is not the ONLY thing.
Sometimes your people just need you to sit with them.
Sometimes your people need you to sit with them while opening up your ears and heart to them. Sometimes they need you to be still, even if you have to defy everything in you that’s jumping at a chance to “fix” the situation.
Sometimes they need you to show up every week and ask, “what’s the update?”
It can be a battle to pursue instead of solve, to ask and listen instead of preach.
There are many times that it’ll make us itch to not do! But it is good to lean into that uncomfortability, it’s a beautiful blessing to those you’re looking in the eye. It’s what Jesus would do.