Hearing your name is one of the most comforting things in life. It starts as a child, when your mom or your dad calls your name to come inside for dinner. When your best friend shouts your name in the school halls. When your child calls you, “Mom-ma” or “Da-da” for the first time.
A name means a lot, especially when it’s said by the ones you love.
And I don’t think you realize just how comforting it is to hear your name until you go somewhere where no one really knows your name.
That’s something that I’ve been struggling with lately as our family has been settling into our new home. We moved from our hometown, population: 80,000 to our new town, population 800,000. It’s been a bit of a culture shock to say the least.
And as we walked into church this past weekend and made our way to drop off our son, Asher, I was still battling with the uneasiness of the unknown. I couldn’t help but think about how intimidating it felt to be walking into a church with thousands of new faces. I couldn’t help but think about how odd it had been to go to the grocery store earlier that week and not know a single person I met.
It isn’t what I’m used to coming from a town where everybody knows everybody.
But once we arrived at Asher’s room my fears were melted away. We were greeted with a beaming smile from the child care volunteer and the words, “So glad to see you again, Asher!”
That may not sound like much to you, but they were the exact, God-delivered words I needed to hear in that moment. It wasn’t just a smile and a greeting – it was an intentional effort to show us that she cared.
Instead of just treating her position as spot to be filled, she viewed it as a position to love people… to show people they matter… to show people that God believes they matter.
She realized that we were new to the church and probably also realized we had nervousness and uncertainty. But what I’m sure that the volunteer didn’t realize is just how much it meant to me.
It made me realize just how much simple moments like that matter.
And we all have moments like that, all of the time. There are millions of people walking around us feeling lost, worthless, discarded, broken, unnoticed, unknown.
They’re at churches, at grocery stores, at gas stations, at restaurants. And they’re all struggling with meaning and significance.
People who probably have never even heard that there is a God who cares about them. A God who knows their name. A God who wants to give them meaning, purpose, and significance.
I’m afraid that we handicap ourselves by believing that God only moves in our extraordinary obedience – in the spectacular and the overwhelming. What we fail to realize is that when we choose to slow down enough to remember someone’s name or ask how someone’s day is going or tell someone we will pray for them, we actually are doing the extraordinary. It may look simple, but the impact can be extraordinary.
Every moment matters because every moment is a new opportunity to love someone – let’s not waste it.