There are a lot of BEING’s I can work on.
BEING prepared with meals-and-birthday-cards-and-calling-people-more.
But lately, I’m drawn to Jesus’ example of BEING available.
‘Cuz time and time again, he did that.
Hey lady, can I get some water and let’s chat about your boyfriend sitsch.
Hey, guys-I’ve-never-met, wanna drop everything and hang out for, oh let’s say, the next three years?
Howdy, little man in a tree. Lunch plans? Your place? Done.
Available; it’s counter-cultural. If we’re available, we must not have anything to do. And if we don’t have anything to do, we must not be busy, and important, and, oh wait!
I’m not suggesting we ignore the everyday responsibilities of work, parenting, and maintaining of schedules. Being available is outside the we-must-accomplish-these-tasks-or-bills-aren’t-paid-and-kids-aren’t-fed-sphere, it hovers beyond the me-focused moments accompanied with “spare time.” Being available is a mindset. It’s not simply time spent, but a soul awareness, a willingness to be interrupted. It’s showing up if a friend is having a hard day, or noticing the boys need a morning to play at home without being shlepped in the car, or a church calls the night before and needs a last-minute speaker and I’m like Suuuuure?
Some of the most beautiful people I know are available. They intentionally leave space to talk, listen, pray, and see someone’s eyes. To be available, doesn’t mean we all quit our jobs and wait at home for a rescue siren. It means when an opportunity presents itself to love someone, and we confidently know we aren’t sacrificing our family, sanity, or safety, why not? Availability emulates Jesus’s love by whispering, You are valuable and my details aren’t more important than yours.
Last week I received two just because cards in the mail from friends. If you must know, seeing my name written in handwritten font above our home address pretty much makes my day. I turn giddy and do the happy dance by the mailbox. Why? Because sitting down to pen a note, find a stamp, and pop it in the mail signifies availability. It translates that someone took the time to think and act. And it about blessed my socks off. Like seriously.
Thoughtful gestures inspire me to be available in open-handed ways. To respond yes to a friends text asking if I can come over and talk, ignoring a piled sink because my croupy Ty is crying, Mommy hold me, clearing my week’s schedule so that my husband can co-emcee a conference in Chicago and rock his God-given gifts. Whether small or grand, it don’t matter; availability says You are a priority, one I choose.
When we’re available, we have eyes to see, and ears to hear beyond us. Instead of being married to our agendas, we are sensitive to others. Being available does not turn us into doormats, biting at every cry and request, for that would only lead to a Savior complex. No, it’s a quiet heart shift to knowing there’s more to the greater picture than our day-to-day hustle and bustle. To miss the an opportunity to be available, is to miss God at work.
Think of a recent time when someone was available to you, maybe in a way you didn’t even know you needed. What impression did it leave? Hopefully that you are valued, loved, and a priority. Even in the midst of crazy schedules and full lives.
Cheers to living more like Jesus; to being available.
Listen to God’s voice today. How can you be available to Him, others, and yourself?