Thursday, November 6, 2014

People, better than places.

I've always been fascinated by new places. Old places. Places I get to see once in a blue moon.
I've always imagined my future as a tangible place. A future centered around that place and me. Nobody else really included in the equation.
I'll live in a townhouse on my own, work as a counselor on my own, make my own food, make my own way, go see France on my own, travel on my own...
Recently I've figured out that not only is it impossible to be who I want to be on my own, but I also just don't want to be that self centered anymore. Being alone is wonderful for an introvert like me but as a human being, I am nothing without people.

Poetry of the wonderful Christopher Poindexter whom I love dearly if only for his beautiful mind.
He's another one of those strangers that thinks completely different from me,
but thats what makes him lovely.

My friends, my family, my teachers, my preachers, the people I've never met but see everyday- this is what shapes me. People. Psychologically, we are made into who we are by our social experiences. It's a true fact that we would be nothing without other people.
I could list a thousand individuals who I would be nothing without but here are a few people who I find better than places:

My boyfriend.
Never have I had a friend so willing to listen and so ready to give feedback that is truly thought-out and given in a loving and mindful manner.
Laughter is so often the cure to sorrow and this man makes me laugh until I cry or laugh while I'm bawling my eyes out. And sometimes when I'm bawling my eyes out he bawls with me.
I have to say finding my man was a new experience to me because I never knew what it felt like to be loved so selflessly. And experiencing a love that is truly and wholly Christ-like completely gave me a new perspective on life and how to love people. Not only that, but I've learned that tangible places are worth so much less than a heart you can rest in. I've found a heart that is my home.

My brother.
I grew up as the big sister who was very protective of her little brother. Still kinda am. My brother is another person who is home to me. He's too old to call me "sissy" now and too manly and independent to be the little fellow attached to my hip but I sure do feel love and pride for my little brother. He's got a bright future ahead of him for the love he has for his Savior and the passion he has for using art and music to spread the love of Jesus. Carefree, yet burdened with a heavy longing to give people freedom from bondage, he is a one of a kind kid. I don't know many 16 year olds like him. He has taught me a thing or two about faith.

When I'm back in Statesville, I like to walk in Mac Anderson park. The primary reason is normally to get some exercise but another large reason is I love talking to strangers or even just smiling at strangers walking by. It's a place with an eclectic mix of individuals in this park at Statesville- you see people of all kinds of backgrounds, young and old. Some you can read like an open book and the faces that show a worn-down spirit are ones that I like to pray for and learn from. I don't have to speak to them to learn from them. Their stories are in their skin, the way they walk, the heads held high, the eyes focused on the ground... You learn a thing or two about people by observing them. And you learn to love the different things about them. Its a whole new kind of experience to be able to befriend a complete stranger. Or even better, to be able to get to know someone you never would have imagined speaking to before. Strangers are sometimes my favorite people because "strange" is in the name-- something that you find strange may in fact be something you can learn to understand and receive a valuable lesson from. The strange things in other people that are different from you is what makes them that much more lovely.
So often I find myself looking at someone and making a judgement before I can really know them.
And it gets me to thinking...What did Christ see when He first looked at me? 
He saw me as worth dying for. Before we even knew His name. Before we were even breathed into creation, he chose to acknowledge us as something worth giving up his life for.
Wouldn't it be nice if instead of making judgements of people, no matter their differences, we saw them as worth dying for as well?
Don't you think we should be able to give up our comfort zone for strangers since Christ gave up the ULTIMATE comfort zone for us?

As time passes, I am being taught what it means to love with the love of Christ. 

Loving people.
That's what it's all about.
People, better than places.
Better than things.
Better than your political stance.
Better than your personal beliefs.
Better than your preconceived notions.
Better than yourself.

While you can love a place and you can love a person, there is a difference.
People need love. People need the love of Jesus.