I stood on the other side of the table, where I wouldn’t have to really connect. I barely made eye contact, said Merry Christmas and tired to help as best as I could, from the safety of staying behind the table. My first time serving at the Rescue Mission, I was afraid. I was stepping way outside of my comfort zone and definitely outside of where I felt safe. How do I act and what do I say? I know what to say within the comfort of the four walls of our church and the shelter of my own home, but how do I respond to someone who has nothing?
And then I hear the words, have you forgotten Robin? This could be you. And that, I think, is what frightened me the most. It could be me. It was me! How could I be afraid of people who were more terrified than I was? I was so moved with compassion for these men in that Christmas morning experience that I knew I’d be back.
This year I found myself looking forward to our early Christmas morning trip to the Mission. I had already pushed aside the fear, and purposed in my mind to step out from behind the table. I didn’t want to be that person who went through the motions, never really connecting to the moment and the people that God had placed right in front of me. I wanted to touch, hug, serve, look people in the eye and talk to them. I’m not sure what shifted in me this past year, but I’ve learned that fear can either paralyze you, or propel you forward toward great adventures and a life fully lived. I decided that I would not let fear dictate my choices this year and that I will respond willingly and quickly when God calls. I don’t want to miss one moment God has prepared for me and I don’t want you to miss out on any moments God has created for you either. I loved early Christmas morning at the Rescue Mission this year. I met so many men who want a new life. I met writers, and poets. I met men who had nothing but a smile and a story. I met and hugged people that needed a touch from God and I believe that by us being there, Christmas morning was just a little bit better, a little brighter and a little warmer for them.
We experience the pleasure and presence of God most in the middle of serving others. We can only truly serve when we push past our own fears and empathize with the fears of others. We can only fully serve others if we take the time to see them as God does. Listen to them, as Jesus would. To embrace them with the love of the Father that they long for. When we experience pleasure, joy, satisfaction and love, those we are serving experience it as well. They see Jesus, live and in person in us! My prayer is for God to help us love people more. To love them like Jesus would if He were standing in that courtyard at the Mission. My prayer is that we never allow fear to hold us back from what God is calling us toward. I pray your 2017 is one of no fear and that nothing gets in the way of you grabbing hold of all that God has in store for your life. I pray that your 2017 is filled with incredible experiences that change you, move you, connect you and fill you with passion to do more, serve more, give more and love people more. #nofear #keepadvancing #movelifeforward #Godsbest