Sunday, June 1, 2008

A little lonely... a little reflective

Each month, a newsletter from our church comes out. And on the front of that newsletter is a message from our pastor. Of course I'm a little biased in terms of his messages, but the majority of the time the words he writes have an impact on me. They may reiterate something that I already know, or they may point out something that I hadn't given much thought to in the past. This month's message struck me for many reasons, but mostly because I can relate... as I'm sure most of you can.

The message simply put is this: there are many people who are reaching out for love and affection each day, whether they say it bluntly ("I need you"), or by some other means (holding eye contact, a lingering hug or touch, asking for something else which will lead to time to spend together, etc.). Everyone needs love and affection, to know they are special and that they matter, and that you care! The thing is, most people will NOT ask for what they need. I consider myself to be a relatively intuitive person and one that can usually sense when someone is need of a little extra TLC. But I can guarantee that I miss some very obvious clues because I'm not always looking.

This message really seemed to tug at my heart this week, and I believe there are a few reasons for that. The first being that I've been working diligently over the last few months to pay extra attention to just such things! We are needy, and we can help each other find comfort when we need it by reaching out to one other. It's so much easier than one may think. It's a phone call just letting someone know they are being though of, dropping a note of thanks in the mail, or saying a prayer for someone when they come to mind. The little things that are done make the biggest difference.

The other reason this message was so touching for me was because I'm one of those people that won't ask for what she needs (most of the time). I know that I'm not alone in this... how often do you feel like you could just really use a good hug from someone, but you won't ask? Is it because it hurts your pride? You're afraid of rejection? You have a fear of looking too needy? All of the above apply to me. Sometimes the thought of rejection alone is enough to make me freeze in thought and retreat back into the core of my soul. The reality is that we ALL desire to have a closeness with other people. We are human, and God fashioned us after him... LOVING! So why is it so hard for us to accept that? I know that for me, it's simply a matter of getting over each silent fear I have, and being willing to take the risk and ask. But more importantly, I think it starts with the relationship we have with Christ. Can you be real with him? Tell him that you are sad? Depressed? Scared? Lonely? Needy? He wants that closeness with us... he wants the intimacy that comes with being completely open and exposed. The only difference between the relationship with him and other people is that He will ALWAYS provide! He won't fail us or let us down. He won't ever mock you for feeling the way you do. He is the safety net and comfort that we can count on anytime, anywhere. Praise God for that!

I hope that we can all learn from Pastor's message and be open to other people's needs. Notice when someone is reaching out and they can't say it plainly. Pay attention to the signals that people give when they need or want something that they're scared to ask for. We can love each other only because God has loved us first... and he has shown us how to love. What a blessing!

I pray that each of you have a wonderful week, and that you receive the affections you desire. And more importantly, I pray that you can go to God this week, whether you have a light heart or a heavy heart, and be real with Him. God is so good and loving... trust him.

God bless you~

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