Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Show Up Randomly

This post was originally written for a blog my church publishes for our volunteers. The blog helps the volunteers as they learn how to be leaders in different areas of their lives, especially with the kids they serve in our ministry.

_MDS4009The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines random as “a haphazard course” and also “without definite aim, direction, rule, or method.”

When the authors of Lead Small talk about showing up randomly in our small group members’ lives, I don’t think they mean to do it without aim or direction. Maybe my administrative assistant glasses are too thick, but I can’t imagine showing up without direction. I mean, how would you ever get someplace? You’d be making wrong turns all day long!

I think showing up randomly means YOU have intention and premeditation. The random part comes when THEY don’t expect it.

You are in relationship with those in your small group. You know a little bit about their families and who is in them. You know if they tend to run late because they are compromising with their children over what clothes to wear to church. You know if one of the children you lead has a pet that just died. You know their ages and stations in life.

But, honestly? You don’t need to know anything about a person to show up randomly in his life. You can show a random act of kindness to a stranger in the drive-thru line at McDonald’s as easily as you can show kindness to your mother when she needs yard work done at her house. The random part comes as a result of who YOU are, not who the recipient is.

Who you are is built upon the foundation God has poured in your life. When you invite Him in and allow Him to love you, your life will be changed. When you mess up and feel ashamed, and then the realization hits that He doesn’t withhold His love no matter how badly you messed up, it unearths something unbelievable in your heart: grace. And when you experience that undeserved grace, it starts seeping out into the rest of your life. You offer it to others, whether they deserve it or not. You start showing up in random ways, because that’s how God shows up in your life. It’s an extension of who He is, not who you are. Because you’ve been loved so extravagantly by Him, you can love others the exact same way.

My favorite scripture is the Message translation of Philippians 4:13 which says, “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”

He makes you who you are. Open your eyes to see the random ways He loves you, and then open your hands to love on someone else.

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