Recently, a chick from England kicked me in the butt. She was at my church for a Women’s Conference and stayed through the weekend to speak at our Sunday services. She spoke about the topic of “getting messy” – how we have become so consumed with our own issues that we’re oblivious to the people around us who need us to look up, see them, and get involved in the mess of their lives. As she was delivering her message, I saw myself the day before at the checkout line at Publix. I’m looking at my phone to see how many emails and texts I can return while the sweet cashier is processing my groceries. I don’t even look up to make eye contact with her until she hands me my receipt. I saw myself at Starbucks earlier that week ordering my favorite coffee, never making eye contact with the barista while the gentlemen that came after me ordered his coffee and took the time to find out how the barista’s day was going.
So that afternoon as I drove home, I asked God to help me do better. And then He reminded me of someone who had this concept of “getting messy” right. Everywhere she goes, she makes a point to engage with people. And it doesn’t stop with a “Hello, how are you? Isn’t the weather beautiful today?” Every time she meets someone new, she makes a point to engage in a deep, meaningful conversation with that person. And more often than not, the conversation ends with an exchange of phone numbers, an invitation to meet again at the park, or even an invitation to come over to her house for pizza. Who is this person? My sweet daughter-in-law Gaby.
Let me give you an example. Last year, Gaby met a single mom with a young son who was going through a very difficult situation in her life. And instead of telling her, “nice to meet you, I will be praying for you,” she found this mom a place to live, connected her with the single moms in our church, and just recently, opened her home to host a birthday party for this mom’s son. This may not be normal for most of us, but it is normal for Gaby.
And just yesterday, I spent the day with Gaby and the grandkids at a museum and watched her as she connected with another mom (who didn’t even speak English) while they both nursed their babies. Not even a language barrier was going to stop her from finding out how this stranger was adjusting to motherhood and living in a new country.
I watched her and tried to convince myself that she is living out a calling on her life. It’s not my calling. I do other things well. Then God reminded me that I am His workmanship, created in Christ for good works. And the most important work I am called to do, after loving Him, is to share His love with others around me.
So Gaby, I honor you today. I thank you for being a role model to me and to so many others. Keep getting messy and I will try better to do the same.
Want to watch the British chick’s message on this topic? Click here to be inspired to get messy.