Recently, someone asked me, “How do you show the love of Jesus on a daily basis?” I said I take the time to really see and hear people. They are not obstacles to overcome or items to check off. I stop to really see people.
Like last night, at my place of employment, a woman came to me angry and frustrated. I stopped and heard her. I couldn’t change the outcome of the situation, but I could hear and validate her frustration. It ended in me hugging and holding her. Nothing changed in her circumstance, but everything changed in her because she was seen and experienced someone truly paying attention to her.
At the end of that shift, one of my coworkers belittled me for how I handled the situation. I explained that seeing and hearing the person was my gift. I have a softer, mild, compassionate approach.
But my coworkers’ gift may be different because God purposefully made them different. They may be very straightforward, their words hitting you between the eyes. Both tactics have their place, but we must each flow within our own gift. She agreed and, thankfully, my managers also backed me up.
I have learned one of the challenges of truly loving others is staying filled up. Galatians 6:9 tells us “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good…”. This can be hard because people are like emotional rollercoasters. They move from harsh, struggling and in pain; to gentle, vulnerable and open for healing.
Thankfully, my degree in Occupational Therapy and my experience working for several organizations which help the disabled population, have given me experience in handling many types of situations. It has also taught me how to interact with others productively, even in tense situations.
Jesus, the perfect example, took time to really see and hear people and to acknowledge where they are, what they are dealing with and what their needs were. I do my best to follow His infinitely perfect lead.