A New Way to Look At Relationships
I am so excited to work through the topic of relationships. They affect every part of our lives and can touch us for a lifetime. They are not always easy and come in many shapes, sizes, and colors.
The best way to describe most relationships from my years of experience is "hospitality on wheels". The unique part is that it is often not in a setting that we are able to control. We must find ways to make the best of every situation so that we leave the kind of lasting impression that we want to, for however long the relationship is meant to be.
Not every relationship is meant to be a part of our lives for our whole lives. Some are very involved, and some are over in a minute.
There was a time when I encountered a cashier at my local department store and she was very friendly, but after several passes through the checkout, we developed a small bond. She began to tell me about her struggles and her kids and other personal information that you don't usually hear from a cashier.
I began to really cheer for her and prayed for her and her situation. I know that after about six months, she changed jobs, and I saw her once at her new place of employment. And that is the end of our journey.
See, this relationship was only for a short time. I like to think that I left her better than I found her, and I often catch myself hoping that all worked out well in her life.
When we think about hospitality, we think of people coming to our homes or meeting up for dinner. In reality, it extends to our jobs and our friends and maybe even to strangers.
How often has someone bumped into you, and we say "sorry"? Not because we are at fault, but because we are being hospitable toward a stranger who needs grace. That's hospitality on wheels. Spreading grace and joy wherever we go and always with a smile on our faces.
I'm sure we have all heard the saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all." This is so true.
In relationships, we can get our hearts broken, but that just means we took it out and shared it with others. Truth be told, I have had so many one-way relationships. They start off great, but time and distance often fracture the grip we have as people go on with life where they are.
I often think of a surge protector. I absorb the load and love without condition but in the end, the switch often gets flipped as the load becomes too much to bear. Really it is the rejection that is too much to handle. I always start off with love and grace. I never think ill of anyone, no matter what their reputation may be before we begin our journey. We all change with the seasons of life, so where someone may have been, they may not be anymore.
It can be a lonely place, you know, loving others recklessly. But that is the way God loved his people. I don't know the heart of people as he does, but I want to love as he did, even if it is at my own peril.