His question was innocent…motivated by an authentic curiosity.
My hesitation was surprising…motivated by a lack of introspection.
On a rare occasion, I have an “open window” with my teenage son. Studies and sports, appointments and chores, these consume most of his time. This night, however, was different. With an unusual margin of time, He sat next to me as I flipped through my Facebook feed.
“How many friends do you have?”
“How many likes did that get?”
“Who comments on your posts?”
Those questions were easy to answer. Then he asked, “What does it take for you to like something?”
Huh…I thought to myself. I honestly didn’t have an answer. Why would I scroll past some, linger on others, like an occassional status, and comment on a select few? Does that point to my own insecurities, or selfish motives?
I threw out the old standby…”I don’t know.” Then I moved on, but not really. He had no idea how I labored over the question. In the secret places–I was asking Jesus to show me the answer. I wasn’t over thinking this. I knew God used my guy to get to my heart–the heart of the matter.
We all long to be noticed. To matter. To be heard. Right? We have that God-shaped hole that keeps us searching for significance, purpose, and meaning.
What resounded in my spirit was the “powerful” influence God has given to me–to each of us. Not one I asked for, or created in my own strength, but the one He placed into my life as He knit me together in my mother’s womb. The one in your life, too.
People, family, ministries, neighbors…the areas of influence are many–but they all function around relationships with others. When my life notices the life of another, speaks encouragement, or gives a verbal “high-five”, I’m using this influence for good.
His question caused me to consider how I am using this gift of influence. When I just go through life “scrolling” past people, needs, love, and opportunities, I am missing the fullness each of these yield. The ability to notice and be noticed reaches deep within all of us–even if we’re too stubborn to admit it.
From today forward, I hope to seize moments, capitalize on conversations, and put fear aside.
If I haven’t told you…thank you for visiting my blog. Thank you for speaking encouragement into my life. Community holds hope up to others, extends grace, and speaks life. Thank you for being a community of friends.
Go ahead…use your powerful influence to reach into the lives of those forgotten, lonely, and overlooked. Notice the neighbor, single mom, or cashier. Restore joy in the mundane. Bend low, reach high, and love well. I’m going to do the same.