You place value on someone when you consider them to be important and have worth. Intellectually you might place value on someone, but do your actions back that up?
Willing to explore this with me?
First of all, do you notice those who are vulnerable and broken? Do they have a name or are they just a group of people who need something.
I am going to get real with you for a few minutes if you will let me.
One reason we don’t bring the vulnerable and broken into our lives is that we don’t see the value in it. In other words, we don’t see how by doing so it will bring additional value to us. We are more concerned about how a relationship with them will put a drain on us. Well, there is a good chance it won’t add any value to your life.
Yes broken and vulnerable people will ask a lot of you because they probably need to ask. Who exactly are the broken and vulnerable living life around you? They all have names. They all have a story if you are willing to take the time to hear it.
A widow who is lonely needs someone to spend time with her. My friend Matt tells the story of a recently widowed woman in his community. Her husband passed away just a few weeks after a fire burned down a workshop behind their home. Her husband spent a few weeks in the hospital before passing away. The burned down workshop remained untouched for a few months. At her husband’s funeral, he was honored as a World War 2 veteran. This newly widowed woman went from accepting the folded united states flag to a sign in her front yard that she had 30 days to clean up the burned down building. No one took the time to find out her circumstance.
A child whose father has left him needs a male mentor. My friend Joe, an avid fisherman, each school year mentors young boys who have no or an absent father. Not only does Joe meet with these boys at school for lunch, he will also take them fishing where he can teach them a skill and have ample time to invest in their lives.
A man living on the streets doesn’t just need you to hand them a few dollars at the intersection. Some other friends of mine, Brian and Dawn, drove through an intersection many times a day. They noticed the same man “working” on the corner asking drivers for money. Over the years, they spent time learning his story, about his family, and his struggles. They helped him with basic needs, but more importantly they got to know him.
A teenager who has been in foster care for years needs you to bring them into your forever family. John and Leslie had two young teenage boys when the youngest one asked Leslie what foster care was. He asked because a school mate lived in a foster family. After she explained the definition, he asked why he couldn’t be a part of their family. That simple question began the journey of this family adopting a son who had spent many years in foster care living with multiple families.
What do all these stories have in common?
One thing is that they all involve real people with real names with real stories of brokenness.
Another thing is that each one encountered someone who saw past that brokenness and saw a person with value.
We aren’t called to save the whole world. We don’t have the ability to do that to begin with; however, we all can respond to the one that God puts in our path. And that begins with seeing people through a lens of value.
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