I am a shy and quiet person by nature. I am not one to just start talking to a stranger. I am not one to initiate conversations. I am not one to initiate activities. So when my husband and I moved to a home in the country, I liked the idea. We lived a few miles outside of a small town.
We did not jump into the small town life right away. We shopped and bought our groceries and went to church in a nearby ‘city’. People didn’t know us, people didn’t keep up with us. I thought that is how I would like it.
Then we started to ease into the small town life and atmosphere. We decided to embrace the life we were part of. We started getting groceries at the small grocery store, going to church in our town, and eating occasionally at the local café. It was wonderful. We were welcomed with open arms.
I guess I had forgotten how nice a small community can be.
You know the type of town where everybody knows your name and asks how you are. Where the owner of the small grocery store helps you carry your groceries to the car. Where people are genuinely happy to see you at church. Where your neighbor notices a tree fell down in your yard and offers to help cut it up and move it away. Where the neighbor with a tractor comes by to scoop the driveway after a big snowstorm.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
That’s what it was, that was it… I needed to start seeing how God sees.
I need to start seeing with my heart and not my head. My head reminds me I’m shy and I won’t know what to say and what if they don’t like me. My heart says these people are put in my life by God. They are a gift from Him to me. They are a way for me to see and feel His love here on earth. They are a way for me to share the love of God here on earth.
If I wouldn’t open myself up and open my heart up to my community, I would miss these wonderful people. I would miss out on what I can learn from them. I would miss the love they share. I would miss the opportunity to grow.
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
It can feel risky to open yourself up to people you don’t know. It is hard to be vulnerable and it certainly takes courage. It takes stepping out in faith. But I think it is worth the risk, don’t you?
Have you had an experience where seeing with your heart was more important than seeing with your head? Have you had a time where seeing with your heart made all the difference? We would love to hear!
By Jennifer, StudioJRU