Recently, right in the middle of the busiest week of the Christmas season, two simultaneous events where I needed to be were going on. One, a church event that I was eagerly anticipating, the other a gathering to celebrate the end of a sports season my son was involved in.
Sweet hubby would have to work late this day, no one else could attend and due to another responsibility, I would be arriving late. In the moments of trying to decide which event to attend, those inadequate feeling came to mind. You know the ones...where you are walking into a crowded room alone while unsure if anyone will be welcoming. Where would I sit, who would I talk to (15 year olds don't sit with their mothers anymore!). Every mom knows she is to be her child's biggest fan, so after corresponding with the coach, it was more for the team than for the parents. I went to the church function which was familiar and comfortable, then left early to be home with hubby for supper. Picking up our son later, only a few parents attended, relieving me of the mother's guilt. But it bothered me how much the anticipation of the unknown affected me.
It is said that there there are two kinds of people in this world: those who walk into a room and say, “Here I am. Come talk to me. Come make me feel comfortable,” and those who walk into a room and say, “There you are. You look interesting to get to know. I’d like to learn more about you.” It is similar to the difference in being a giver and a taker.
"There are two types of people - those who come into a room and say, Well, here I am! and those who come in and say, Ah, there you are"
Jesus was a master at being a “There you are” person. He saw people and reached out to them.
Zacchaeus. The woman at the well. Each of his disciples. Jesus really saw them.
If I’m honest, sometimes I don’t see well. Each and every day of my walk as a believer is about becoming more like Jesus. Moving from being a “Here I am” person to being more of a “There you are” person is one step of the journey. This take much practice, especially at home! My heart screams “Here I am. Look at me,” while missing opportunities to really see the needs of my family. When we get home from work, it's easier to be more about “Here I am” than “There you are.” But developing the mentality and attitude of looking beyond me to others is a worthwhile pursuit. There will be an abundance of opportunities to put into practice the "there you are" attitude.
As we enter into new situations this year at school and church and work, let’s ask God to help us grow out of being “here I am” people. Let’s ask God to show us how to take our eyes off of ourselves, off of the kind of impression we are making, off of who will notice and like and affirm us, off of us and on to others. Let’s ask Him to help us become “there you are” people. It’s biblical, you know:
What is one step you can take to be more of a “there you are” person in your marriage or with your children?
The next time you’re in a social environment, practice being a “there you are” person, and give someone the beautiful gift of being seen.