Despite being a Realtor for years, I was required to attend a new member orientation yesterday. As I sat in the room full of people, I found myself looking around and wondering who looked the most approachable.
My husband attended the same meeting a few months ago and when I asked him what he thought of as he sat there, he said he was thinking about how boring it was and how long before he could get out of the room.
When I wrote the post yesterday, forgive me if it came across about me. I didn't mean it to. I was questioning how best to reach out to others as a ministry. What amazed me were some of the comments. I hope you had a chance to read them.
Here's what struck me:
It isn't about the activities. It isn't about the busyness. It isn't about having your husband and kids and enough friends already.
My daughter moved to Seattle three years ago. She attends a large church with her in-laws. She is outgoing and passionate about life, yet is unable to make those close friendships like she had back home. It isn't about the age or her having a child, I've discovered.
It's about what we've allowed to happen.
How does all this tie into writing? Consider how it is to write a short fiction piece. You can write it between eating dinner and watching American Idol. It doesn't take much effort and it doesn't mess with your own life too much.
But then you decide to write something deeper--a novel, perhaps. Here's where the effort comes in. Here's where it takes time, and maybe a critique group and a little more work. But the payoff when it's done is so much better.
Like sticking your neck out to have better relationships with those around you who just might need it--even if you don't.
I think most of the people who visit this blog are Christians. It broke my heart to read about the same story happening all across the country. One person has been in a new community for two years and doesn't know anyone well enough to call them up to go out for coffee.
We are busy people but the day might come for each of us when we have to move to a new city, or our children who keep us so busy grow up and move away, or our family dies off. Who will we be surrounded with at the end of our lives? Who do you want to say you encouraged along the way besides yourself?
Who is the stranger sitting next to you?