faithful presence

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About a month ago, Pastor Tim Chaddick shared an incredible message at RealityLA on the importance of having a faithful presence in people’s lives. He spoke on how having a community built on genuine relationships matters and that there are NO unimportant people. Previously, when I heard messages on this topic, my natural instinct was to think, Well, obviously. I already know that. However, something about Pastor Tim’s message really struck me. Maybe it was the constant repetition of “People matter” or the excellent deliverance of the message, but weeks out, I am still thinking about what was shared that evening. More often than not, we have very selective group of people we build our community around. Everyone thinks their friends are the best and that they really don’t care to make any new ones. The people directly involved in our lives are the ones that matter, and everyone else is just noise in the background. But he challenged the congregation to see past ourselves and understand how each of those people that we dismiss have their own fascinating and deeply written stories. Everyone has a unique reason they’re in this world and have a very specific purpose in God’s greater picture.

This made me appreciate the relationships I currently have so much more, but it also made me curious about the people I come across everyday who have their own radical stories. I so often navigate towards people who are similar to me in interests and lifestyles that I neglect the variety of people in this world that have the ability to challenge my perspectives and pull me out of my comfort zone. I think They’re so different. Why would they care about me? Why would I be remotely interesting to them? But that’s the issue. Society has become so jaded to the thought that people can genuinely care that they fear intimacy. People have come to think that every relationship that goes deeper has some kind of ulterior motive behind it, and fail to see that we’re meant to share life with others. We weren’t made to go through this life alone; we’re made to generously sow into people and to receive that kind of love and care back. Just as much as I have the capacity to invest in someone, they have the capacity to invest in me. Sure, it may not always be reciprocated, but that shouldn’t be what keeps people from making that first step. It can be scary to be in a vulnerable state and invest deeply in people, but, more often than not, you get to hear their story, you get to hear about the joys and tribulations they’ve gone through that have significantly influenced and shaped who they are. Isn’t that worth it? Isn’t the fear of rejection and fear of getting hurt petty compared to what you can learn and experience? Being on the surface level with people and thinking that we can go through this life perfectly on our own is almost selfish. When we sacrifice a little of ourselves and are willing to be a presence in people’s lives, we get an overflow of life-changing blessings.

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