I spoke briefly last week about community. There is something amazing that happens when a group of people gathers together, digitally or otherwise, for a single purpose that is greater than them.
But this pales in comparison to what can happen when one person decides to love and care and invest in you, no matter what.
[Tweet “There is release in knowing someone sees your warts but chooses you anyway.”]
Those of us who claim Christianity as our tribe know that Romans 8 tells us God is for us, but it is different when it’s a human being, not a perfect and divine being, who is for us.
So often in my life, a single person choosing to be for me makes all the difference. I want to share two example of how one person changed the course of my life, with Jim and Kevin.
Almost a year ago to the day, I met Jim. I was on a Facebook forum, declaring some quickly constructed writing goals for the next year. I mentioned 3 guest posts in the next year, and Jim responded – You can post on my site. Let’s talk.
After some chatting online, I sent him a draft post. It was brutal. I had walked around to block to cross the street in telling my story. And Jim told me as much. But not right away. First, he told me that I have a gift with writing. That I shouldn’t quit, because there is something special here.
We worked through a series of edits, all conspiring to make my post great, rather than mediocre. Then the unthinkable (to me) happened – my post garnered the most views and most comments in the month it was posted. Jim told me that, and then said, “I don’t know why you are surprised. You are a good writer Chris, and people want to hear your stories.”
Since then, I count Jim as more a friend than an editor. But I am really not overstating things when I say that his belief in me a year ago helped me see that I writing could be a part of who I am.
Kevin is one of my oldest friends. He is also one of the few people I know who could tolerate living with me and stay my friend afterwards. He was my roommate in college, and still wants to hang out with me.
That could be a sign of mental instability, but I digress.
Kevin has seen me at my worst. He saw me when I angrily stomped through a year of my life because I couldn’t forgive my father for the way he abused my family. More recently, he has been by my side as I dealt with the resurgence of my seizures. He has listened to me accuse God is being uncaring.
Never has he judged me or tried to correct me in the midst of my emotion. Even when his family circumstances were far worse than mine. Instead, he listened. He just listened. At some point later, he might point out how silly I sounded.
But usually, he just lets me be me. Warts and all. And he chooses to stay my friend.
I hope and pray you have at least one person who you can share your warts with. If you do, I would LOVE to hear about them.