A Heart For People?

by 3:44 AM 0 comments
For this to post to make sense, you need to know a dollop of backstory:
If you asked me a year ago if I had a heart for people, I likely would have laughed you out of the room.  I could get along with people, be sociable, converse on a variety of topics, but I genuinely didn't like people.  I love my friends and family of course, felt bad for the starving kids on commerials, got disgusted by terror and murder, made it a point to be nice to the very young, the very old, and those that cared for them......

but when it comes down to brass tacks - I didn't like people.  With the exception of a small few who were somehow wired differently, I believed people were cruel, heartless, malicious and not worth much of my time.  And every time I was proven right - I got a little more smug.  I didn't have a heart for people, I had a prejudice for people.

Here I am, I've lost my office job and am about to start working in the service industry.  I'm serving to cross section of nearly every stereotype ever.  During the Christmas season it was kind of fun (busy, exhausting, brutal too), but most people were kind and tipped generously.  Then the Christmas Spirit wears off and the bills start rolling in and the "nice family at table 56" becomes a bunch of angry time bombs of holiday stress determined to take it out on the lowly service worker who should be honored to even be in their presence.  And I got even more smug....

Then a funny thing started to happen.  I started seeing things differently.  My heart ached for the angry complainers because they didn't know peace.  I wanted to cheer up the people who seemed distraught and overwhelmed.  I tried to distract and calm the children of parents who looked like they just needed some quiet time and a nap.  I wanted everyone I encountered to leave feeling just a little bit better if at all possible.  I wanted to validate that love and hope really do exist even when it feels like they are impossible to find.  I wanted people to see there was a different way to live, a happiness that can transcend most things.  Yes, a bad day was still bad but it didn't have to define you and you got a clean slate every  morning.  Bitterness was a choice, not a consequence.  What on earth was happening to me? I began to enjoy interacting with people!  I wish I could tell you more about some of the people I got to know.  Many times however, stories they shared with me were shared in confidence.  I can tell you this - what I came to understand was that I was looking at people through human eyes; humans are sinful and disgusting and only see evil and filth.  Jesus began to teach me to see people through His eyes, people that need Him to heal broken lives and hearts.  I was changing... developing a heart for people!

I liked my job, even though I was treated like a second rate citizen at times. In fact, I remember long before I lost my job I asked God to help me understand what He meant for someone to be humble.  Fast forward to a few months of working at the restaraunt and I learned quickly.  Do you want to learn humility?  Put your entire financial dependence on people who think you are an uneducated, second class citizen.  That will teach you some humility!  Despite it all, I felt like I was placed at that  restaurant for a specific purpose.  To this day, I can't tell you for sure what it was, but I hope that I fulfilled it. Looking back now, I think maybe I did.

At one time, I didn't want to stop working at the restaurant.  I enjoyed my time there for the most part and the people were hysterical. Once the holidays are over, a natural lull comes over the service industry and the opportunity to make good money is hit or miss.  Our family needed more income and now that hiring managers were back from holiday vacations, I was back on the hunt for a day job.  What I learned in short order was that God had a whole lot of learning for me to do..... exhaustive learning.

Jodi @ God Still Speaks

Head Writer

Boy mom of three. Married to the same man since 2002. Former working mom turned stay-at-home mom. I love my faith, family, and coffee.


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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests to made known to God. — Philippians 4:6