Yesterday I shared about a recent post office experience which prompted me to remember an experience from several years ago …
Life seemed different when experienced through Sophia, who was then four years old. Running errands took on a whole new meaning, as she fully embraced the journey. She especially loved going into the post office as she would sit up on the counter, talked to the clerks, and waited patiently for them to imprint her hand with a rubber stamp and ink. She loved every minute of it.
She took a shine to one woman. Sophia made sure to converse with her each time we went, learning her name, asking her questions. I had a most eye-opening conversation with Mary (not her real name), Sophia’s friend, the first time I went in without Sophia, who had then begun school.
Mary asked for her. I explained that she was in school. Mary remarked that Sophia would do well in school as she loves to converse and ask questions. I replied, “You have made quite an impression on that little girl.”
Mary replied, “No, it is you people who have made an impression on me.”
When I looked puzzled, she continued….
“Didn’t you ever notice that I don’t really like people and I especially don’t like children. Sophia MADE me like her. I am not even sure how you all did it but week after week, you came in and talked to me and cared. I couldn’t NOT like you all. When I would see you in line, I hurried just to be able to take care of you so I would get to talk to her. She MADE me like her.”
The post office remained empty and we continued to talk. She shared with me of her childhood, of the pain of being shy and introverted, unloved, mistreated, abused. Driving home, I realized that over the time, we had become safe to her. It took time but somehow, without knowing it, Sophia had made relationship with this woman.
In her book, “Untamed”, Lisa Harper writes:
Our Savior pursues us to the extreme. He takes the lead in loving us. He calls us into relationship with Him.
The disciples and the crowds drew close mainly because they sensed He cared about them. Jesus won their hearts by declaring and demonstrating His affection first. And the more I contemplate His passionate quest for my own heart – the more I’m compelled to run after Him. (page 83)
The very same way Christ pursues us to make relationship, we must be deliberate to make relationships with those around us. We need to demonstrate to them that they matter to us. They must know that we do truly care about them, their hurts and their fears. The more we demonstrate our concern for them, the more compelled they will feel to open up to us.
It is a hurting world. May we show the love of Christ in the ordinary interactions that we have each and every day with those we meet. May we remember to win over their hearts, one day at a time.
“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 NIV)
Let’s win their hearts by declaring and demonstrating His affection first.
* This is an edited version of a post shared several years ago.