On Wednesday morning, I spoke to a wonderful group of women at a friend’s church. I wanted to encourage women of all ages to be OPEN to relationships that they might not be naturally inclined to pursue.
Cliques aren’t a biblical concept, yet women are notorious at settling into groups of “sameness.” Young moms hang out with young moms, women struggling with parenting make time to meet and discuss with other women who have wayward teens and older women are less threatened in friendships that have “always been.” The problem is that although these relationships might feel comfortable, “comfortable” has never been the standard for rich, life-giving relationships — at least, not when you look at Jesus’ life.
When I read the stories of Jesus relating to people, I see that He is committed to His Father’s will and obeys His direction, regardless of His feelings or His comfort. He pursues with great intention and passion. He establishes and enjoys the relationships and He gives of Himself in selfish ways that always nourish others.
In other words, He is OPEN.
O – obey
P – pursue
E – enjoy
N – nourish
My experience is that there are many people in my little world who are, what I consider to be, “hidden treasures” — they want to connect, belong and engage but for a variety of different reasons, cannot and do not. I think of students whom I’ve taught, ladies whom I’ve met in my community and multi-aged women in my church. When the spirit of God nudges my heart and I’ve obeyed, when I’ve pursued with intention and passion, when I’ve been “all there” and truly enjoyed the moment and when I’ve been sensitive to the other person and intentional about encouraging and nourishing, the relationships have become very meaningful and rich . . . and new friendships have evolved.
In other words, I’ve been OPEN.
I encourage you to be sensitive to that “nudge” you feel at times to initiative a conversation. There are hugs and laughs, conversations and risks worth taking.
Go ahead. You never know what could be on the other side.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20.7 NIV