Hey friends! So…I’ve been hit with a little something called a sinus infection, and have been in bed pretty much the past 2 days. but I couldn’t let another day go by without sharing the first ANYBODY story. and I’m so excited for you to meet Katie. You know how in every conversation I have about the “young college girl who encouraged me to pray about adoption”. yep, that was Katie. We often joke and tell her she was the one who “started it all”. So it’s only appropriate she’s my first story. especially since we had lunch in Waco the day I was dreaming up a name for this gig & SHE came up with the name ANYBODY. she’s pretty genius. This is her and her BF Charlie (you’ll hear a little about him in the story below). Katie is like no person I’ve ever met. she’s special & I love her. and I’m so glad her momma Becca (my mentor!) introduced me to her that summer at Op Camp. Enjoy.
I’m just a doer.
A doe-er? A female deer?
No, just a doer. The regular kind.
Give me a task and you’ll never see it again.
Ask me to go on a hike and I’ll have my tennies on before you can spell Obama. O-B-A.. tennies on. BOOM. We’re hiking.
Adventures and completing tasks are some of my favorite things. I think it is because they both include movement and they both come to an end at some point.
I sit at a computer most days. I check emails, I plan trips, I answer emails. I glance at my to-do list, I cross things off, and I check emails. I go to meetings, I research things for my job, and I check emails. And I check emails. And I check emails.
Then, I go home. I read, I cook, I clean my room. I go on a hike through Cameron Park with my boyfriend Charlie. He likes to move with me. He’s got the doer curse as well. And if I didn’t get my task-fix that day, I’ll organize my spices or something riveting like that. It’s a glorious life that I lead.
What can I say, I’m a doer. It’s what I do.
But that’s not all I do. I let things be done to me. I don’t just encounter but I seek to be encountered.
I seek it because I don’t want it.
I seek it because I don’t want to just be the one that does.
I seek it because I want to be the one who has things done to them.
That is the Christ in me.
But it was once not. He once was not.
I did not understand. I did not understand this Christ. This one who was alive and came for me. I didn’t ask. I didn’t plead. But he came. He came to encounter me.
He came to encounter me.
It started with an encounter. An encounter with God.
It was one of those real, feel it in your bones encounters. It was real, and I will not forget it. I will not forget that rock under me. Or that sea breeze in my face. Or the paper that I held in my hand. Or the ocean that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. But mostly, I won’t forget the waiting.
I won’t forget the sitting, the asking, the pleading to be encountered. The pleading. The longing.
I asked, I waited, and it came.
I was encounteredby Christ and I have never been the same.
But the encountering, there is more. There is more!
He didn’t just encounter. Christ came to be encountered. And so, I want to be encountered.
On my way to get coffee during a jitter-induced work break.
After I turn off my vacuum cleaner to speak to a woman as I am cleaning my car.
While I’m walking to my car with Charlie after we’ve gone to an improv show.
On a hill overlooking a field full of campers while I hear from a woman who desires to be a mama.
I listen, I turn, I squint my eyes and nod my head when I understand.
These encounters. They are snapshots; they are just glimpses. But they are people. They are opportunities.
They are bringing out leftover food to a couple who is hungry.
They are Joyce, who I have walked with and cried with and prayed with.
They are a homeless woman who recently lost her mother.
They are Wynne!
They are opportunities. Opportunities to be encountered. To change and to be changed. To listen and to speak. But mostly, to listen.
So I stay. I stay and walk on the same side of the street, as a homeless woman is coming my way. I yearn to cross over, to dodge her gaze, but I stay on her side. I position my body to cross, but I stay on her side.
I stay on her side.
I let her encounter me. Because, really, I need to be encountered as much as she needs to be encountered. Christ knew that. He came to be in the world. Not just to change, but to be changed.
So I stop. I turn my head to hers, and I listen. While she talks, I war against those things that want to overtake me. I think of what I need to get done that hour. I think of my car that she is blocking me from. I think of why she is where she is. I judge. I grow impatient. But I remain. I let her encounter me.
I remain because Christ remains for me. I let her encounter me because Christ encounters me.
I want to have the dust from my Rabbi’s sandals on me. So I must move with Him. I must go where He goes and stay where he stays. I must follow and I must be willing to be sandy, to be dirty, to be uncomfortable. To be inconvenienced.
So my challenge. Oh boy, a challenge! My challenge is this:
If you love to go, to move. Go somewhere new. Go back.
And then go back again.
Speak to someone new. Speak less, hear more.
If you are keeper-to-yourselfer. Move. Move to people
That you would see.That you would be soft and that you would see.
My challenge is simple and it is this:
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Hear the stories of people.
Touch the hands of those in need. See the Christ in people.
Be inconvenienced. Be encountered. Be changed.
you can find Katie on facebook here. or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org