Tiny Daughter chatters with the “new girl. One Sunday, because of the weather, a visitor dropped in with her small daughter. Like magnets, Tiny Daughter and “new girl” found each other and stayed together all morning.
I listen in as Tiny Daughter’s voice chirps out a phrase of friendship: “You can be my new sister!” she pronounces with gusto. She doesn’t even know her name.
New Girl smiles. Tiny Daughter goes on, “You can come to my house with your mommy, and your mommy and my mommy can be friends. You can even stay in my room. You can be my new sister!” She proclaims her intentions loudly, and I marvel.
Marvel at how easily Tiny Daughter makes friends…how she reaches out to other little people she doesn’t even know. No walls in her heart; she doesn’t know that people are “supposed” to have walls. (I’m so glad) I watch my little one and realize that she found the door in this other little person’s heart.
She goes farther than “hello,” skips over “how are you, I’m fine,” races past “will you be my friend?” and goes right to “you can be my sister.”
This child! This child that I can learn so much from…is mine. I savor the lesson, tucking it away to mull over later.
That moment arrives for me just a few hours later. I’m settling in at the piano for choir practice, and someone motions for me to come.
A visitor has entered our building, as they often do. Being in a somewhat urban area, we have frequent visitors who need assistance. My husband has several men that he provides taxi service to regularly- call it a Gospel taxi since he always tries to squeeze in some Bible to their unknowingly hungry souls.
Our visitor is weeping, and we are given the chance to minister to an aching heart. She stays for the service, and afterwards our family has the opportunity to help her in a tangible way. (Some kind church folks had donated some funds for us to provide her with groceries.)
I am impressed with the fact that my children don’t utter one word of complaint about our disrupted schedule and belated Sunday evening supper. Instead they help our visitor’s young son in and out of the van, and make small talk with him. This is the heart of ministry for our family- this is what I want my children to glean from being PKs (pastor’s kids).
I found myself musing over Tiny Daughter’s conversation from the morning. And I evaluated my own heart and my willingness to pour out myself to those who come hurting. Can I say to a complete stranger in terms of showing Christ’s love “You can be my sister?” Can I, do I take that risk and just lay my heart out there for the taking?
You know, sometimes we let our own walls keep us from reaching out.
Sometimes we let other people’s walls blind us to their true needs.
Walls are so obvious- more obvious than people realize. They throw them up time after time to prevent themselves from pain, and yet it doesn’t work! On the other side of the wall is a very insecure, often hurting person. I know- I was a wall builder for most of my life. Until God brought into my life some pastors and professors who loved me with abandon. They rescued me- they showed me the love of Christ. They taught me how to keep the walls from going up again- how to stay tender to God’s workings in my heart.
It’s a constant area of growth, isn’t it?… letting Him teach us how to love with abandon. To love again even when the other person’s walls are up. To try again even though you’ll be breaking the ice for the one hundred and fifty- third time. To smile again even though you know you’ll be smiling at a wall. Will you be misunderstood and misjudged? Definitely. Does it hurt? Oh yes. People who love with abandon get hurt a lot. BUT they also taste the love of Christ in a way that others don’t get to experience. (Could we ever be hurt more than our Saviour was hurt for us?)
Don’t be a wall builder. Be a wall breaker. Set up healthy boundaries, but don’t build walls. There is a difference! Boundaries encourage communication and build bridges. Walls destroy communication and knock down bridges. Maybe you need to break down your own walls and reap the blessings of unbridled love. Or perhaps you need to chip away at the wall of someone you know.
Ask God to help you find the door.
Pray for wisdom (He WILL give it!). Show love again. Forgive one more time. And leave the rest up to God.