Meet people where they are, not where you’d like them to be.
Every one you meet has a story, just like you and I.
Their story may not be visible on the outside.
Just like you and I.
There is more that goes on inside every book beyond the title on the front & the summary on the back cover.
Because, just like you and I, we don’t let it all out when we first meet people.
We like to look presentable until we know the person we meet is safe to share our real story with.
Like a first date. We take care in choosing our outfit, practicing our answers, and try to make sure we are meeting in a location we can easily escape from, especially if its a blind date. We might even have back up in case our antenna picks up any weirdness.
But just like the rows and rows of novels and hardcovers in the bookstore, each and every book has an aspect to their story that the reader doesn’t expect. A character behaves in a way you don’t expect, a situation has your holding your breath. The unexpected catches your attention, and draws you in to the story.
Every person we meet has a story deep beneath the face they show to the world. Addictions, losses, pain, brokenness, illness, abuse…each and everyone has a unique twist, as no two people are exactly alike.
Everyone you meet has their own story.
As His followers, we need to be listening to His prompting, discerning:
When to offer the same grace God extended you when you met Him for the first time.
When shame needs to be met with a hand of mercy.
When love needs to be poured into a wound until it is made clean and healing can commence.
When kindness in a smile or caring look will soften a hard heart as it begins its journey back to wholeness.
Everyone you meet is beloved by God, and He wants us to meet them where they are at, just as He does the same with us.
When we hear where people are at, it can be unnerving.
Why? When we look into someone else’s story, it can remind us of our own.
That can make us uncomfortable, if we are being honest with ourselves.
I really enjoy learning about the life of King David. But not so much from his story as told by the storytellers, but His own words in the Psalms he wrote, and sang in His day. Honest, gut wrenchingly moving, they are a testimony that we can meet God, be changed for the better, yet be ourselves through the process.
God meets us where we are at.
Let’s offer the same gift to those we meet around us.
Accepting people where they are at is God’s specialty, but it doesn’t end there. He begins to help us write the story He intends for our lives, as we meet and hang out on a regular basis with Him.
We can rest confident that He won’t leave us where He found us.
There are no chance meetings in God’s plans.
If God brings someone into your life, He has a purpose for your meeting.
It may be to help Him be known to the one you meet, or because they have more of Him to reveal to you through their story.
Accept people where they are at.
Meet up with God.
The world will be a much better place the more we do so.
Imagine the stories He will be writing!
Imagine the rewritten masterpiece you will be from meeting Him!