Occasionally someone will take me out to lunch and really take an interest in the drama that I’m going through. They nod, listen, show support, encourage, and even pray.
But then I never hear from them again.
That’s when I realize —
1) They were just curious about the latest gossip in town, 2) they feel like hanging out once is their good-enough deed for the day, or 3) they did it to impress me and puff up their ego.
It’s a bit heartbreaking because —
1) They were really good at acting like they cared, 2) I was excited to have someone who could walk through my struggle, and 3) it’s so hard to find trustworthy friends these days.
Of course I’ll continue to open up to people. It won’t stop me and I’m okay with taking the chance.
But please don’t be a drive-by witness. People are not hotel rooms: you can’t just check in and check out. If you’re going to be there, then be there. And really care.
6 thoughts on “Drive-By Witness”
so many are content with surface relationships, because then it won’t cost them anything like time or effort. I had to learn to go to God during those times of feeling slighted. I know you already know that and too, sometimes we need someone with skin on. It is a good reminder for all of us to really engage or it is almost better to not engage at all!
Agreed. I often forget in seasons of loneliness that I’m not truly alone. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, but it does mean I have a greater hope than what is around me.
Too true, alas, too true.
Hmmm. Challenging. Have we replaced “love one another” with “make connections” or similar?
One thing I realized is that a shepherd doesn’t stand around in his gleaming white robe, all smiles and ease. Sometimes he has to roll up his sleeves and wade into the briars or climb into a ditch to rescue one of his sheep. The Lord has graciously done this for me many times through my sisters in the Lord, it is the least I can do for others.
Going in I have to know: “This is going to be messy. It will take time and effort. Am I willing to invest in this person?” If the answer is “no,” then I’ve also learned to walk on and let someone else step in. If I do it half-heartedly, it will not honor Jesus and will (understandably) leave a bad taste in their mouth concerning Christianity.
I also must be able to do it for the sake of love – and no other motivation. 1 Corinthians 13 is clear on this point. If I have other reasons, I’m a lot of hot air, loud noise, and of no use to them, and of no benefit to me.
PS – I really enjoy your posts. They provide opportunities to stop and evaluate how I handle or what I believe about many worthwhile points of discipleship. I appreciate that.
Thank you again for your insight. I got some negative feedback when I first posted this on my Tumblr, mainly because some wondered “How can I possibly invest in everyone?” I think you answered that well by saying we should be okay with letting others step in. It would certainly be impossible to stretch ourselves beyond more than even a few people; Jesus had three, and mainly he mentored Peter. I think we really need wisdom on how to invest our time wisely with those two or three.