Look up introvert in the dictionary and you will see my picture. Small talk makes my heart race with anxiety. Meeting new people is nerve wracking. I replay everything I say ad nauseum in my mind. Big gatherings overwhelm me. My contemplative nature annoys even me at times. I get stuck in my head. Really stuck.
But I was reminded this week that my status a a follower of Jesus comes well before my status as Queen of the Introverts.
It came from an unexpected conversation. It was asked by a disciple of Christ. By one who actually reads her bible and has such overwhelming love for her savior. An believer who isn't complacent. And it struck me with a big ole "DUH".
Why don't we just do what Christ asks of us? Why don't we love one another?
It was born of a discussion of our behavior as a family of believers. Look around at church on Sunday. You can even observe me on Sunday. Are we behaving like family? Am I too afraid to risk looking like a fool to greet someone I haven't before? Am I so prideful that it prevents me from making the space a little more comfortable for another who's as nervous as I am? Too many thoughts are in my head like this....I don't know what to say. I'll say something stupid, I have nothing to offer, I am a total goof-why would they want to talk to me? Am I in someone's personal space? Are they in mine? Oh no, eye contact! Theme here-I I I I !. It's so ridiculous, that these same thoughts have even prevented me at times from giving to people who happen to be homeless. What if they don't want what I have, will I say the right thing, will I look like a dork? Anxiety rendering me useless. Not okay. The Holy Spirit is pushing and it's frightening and encouraging all at once.
God's word speaks, convicting me. And I tell him I'll try to do better and usually leave it at that, not knowing whether I will allow him to make me truly uncomfortable in action.
And then Yoda walks in.
Do. Or do not. There is no try.
There is no loophole for introverts. God's grace is sufficient to cover the stumbling words and awkward pauses. Jesus commands us to love our neighbor. Let's be gloriously uncomfortable together this week.
Mark 12:30-31English Standard Version (ESV)
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
p.s. i write this as a personal conviction and as a record for accountability. i know we are all struggling. and He is not done with us yet. press on in His marvelous grace.
and also "weird al" is now stuck in my head, too
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Be deliberate in greeting those you encounter today. Spread the smiles around. Look at your fellow man. Be that bright spot they may need today. Pray for those hurting around the world, but don't forget to spread love to those who have been put right in your own backyard. You never know how you're needed and where today may take you.