I have a little assignment for friends reading my blog today.  It’ll take about 2 minutes to read my story, 5 minutes to watch a video, and 1 minute to ask a a few questions. So total investment time will be about 8 minutes. If you don’t have time, come back over the weekend and let the video below speak to you.

The photo linked with this blog tells a story about a time in Mozambique when I saw a spider that was so big and so scary that I ran behind a wall and gazed on it from an open window. Someone with a camera captured my face, from the other side of the web.  Can you see the wonder on my face? That wonder is sponsored by a sturdy shelter and friends who didn’t make me try to touch the spider with a stick baited with an even bigger praying mantis. Thanks guys. You’re the nicest.

Shelter changes how we feel about the things we are facing.

Now, make a short list of people you feel drawn to defend or shelter. (You’ll see why later.) If you need help…

  • Think about what it’s like to be a kid.
  • Think about what it’s like to be a teenager.
  • Think about what it’s like to be a young adult.
  • Think about what it’s like to be an adult.
  • Think about what it’s like to be an adult who has lived more years than they will live in the future.

If you don’t know what some of these things feel like, try to imagine them.

Think about what it’s like to feel human.

Then ask yourself, “what is my role in defending other humans around me?” Is it simply protection? Or is it also empowerment?

What it’s like to be human can’t be explained by anyone fully, because everyone experiences their humanity differently.

So much goes into making up who we are.

That’s why it’s so important to get to know the one’s around us, to walk with them, to compassionately defend, shelter, coach, and to give them safe places to grow.

I discovered a song today that reminded me of all of this. There’s just something about the way it sounded.

I don’t speak Italian (unless you count being able to order Italian food) but I could feel the emotion and a crescendo of hope in it.  Someone once said that “music is what feelings sound like“. Whoever said it was right.

I looked up the lyrics. Translated them (thank you google) and discovered that it’s a song about being there for someone and empowering them to do something brave.

I searched to find a video to see if the translation matched the intent of the song and found this…

Now watch Marco Mengoni Guerriero (don’t be tempted to skip the end).

What does this song and story make you feel? What does it make you want to do? Who does it inspire you to be? We all have something to give. It’s really very simple.

We can be there.

Even for the ones who seem to be doing the hurting. There are ways we can be there for them too.

Think about the many people who’s hearts you will fight for this year. The one’s you will need to shelter or defend. Those you will coach.  There will be people who will surprise you at the end of the day with the most beautiful acts of love, things you would never expect, things only love and strength can create in a person.

What is you role with the few around you?

How have you reached out to those who have been there for you?

Prayer:

Jesus–you are the greatest advocate any human has ever known. Fighting for hearts is your thing. You lived and died for relationships. You have what it takes to win. Help us to learn from your ways. Help us to see that loving doesn’t always come in the form of answers but in the time spent on the ground writing in the dirt or washing someone’s feet. You are always guiding us–even when we wander stupidly towards cliffs–even when we don’t feel big enough for what’s next, you’re saying “I’m here”. Thank you for being here, there, and everywhere. Thank you for getting our backs and helping us to want to do that for others.

 

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