About the Author

Dawn Camp is an Atlanta-based writer, photographer, and essential oil slinger currently juggling two life stages: mom to three teens and five adult children, mimi to five adorable grands. She enjoys weekly movie date nights with her husband of 30-something years and a steaming cup of Earl Grey. Her new...

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  1. Dawn,
    My way of letting others know they are “one of my people”, goes back to your title…Embracing. I am a hugger (much to others dismay sometimes). I let others know that they are loved and accepted by me…by God…with a big ole bear hug. I dare to invade people’s personal space to let them know they are special and that they are cared about.

    Going back to your post – now more than ever – the church (the body of Christ) needs to rise up and be bold in our message, not of piety, but of love. I remember the song, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love…” We need to acknowledge “our people” which is all of mankind with love. Let go the judgment, the us vs. them, the we’re better thans…and see them through the lens of Gods love. Our world needs love right now. What if we rose up and said, as Christians, “You’re my people”?? Loved this…

    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev,

      I, too, am a hugger. Love giving hugs. I go to the assisted living and occasionally give them hugs to let them know they are loved. I am blessed that my minister also gives hugs. Showing everyone they are loved can make their day!

      Blessings 🙂

  2. I’m teaching our children to never EVER look at the ground when they walk by someone- look the other person in the eye and smile!! I was amazed by how many fellow Christians don’t even look up to smile at one another. I’m the Mom that’s always yelling ‘EYEBALLS! EYEBALLS!’ at her kids so they look up. Great great post!

    • I broke my hip by looking up when I should have been looking down. I would not have tripped had I looked where I was stepping and not off into the distance where I wanted to go.

  3. Oh how I love this story. We do this on the country road where I live. A wave and a smile – “I don’t know you, but you’re here, and I see you. Welcome.”
    Striving for this in my church is the prayer of my heart. And I think we’ve got it going on here in this lovely space, don’t you?

  4. Thank you for this reminder. I make fun of others when I feel bad or insecure about myself. It’s like an addiction and I am going to rely on God helping me to stop this horrible character flaw and habit.

    • Hey, girl. Identifying the root is a huge step. That’s exciting!!! I haven’t had much luck trying to be better, but I have had success when I take the first step to strengthen my confidence level. Then slowly as a take one step at a time my reaction begins to change. Just telling God he is free to work is the first step. You go girl!!!

    • Sarah, I agree with Jen that identifying it is a huge step. I tell my kids “you don’t have to tear one person down to build another up.” It might take time, but I believe God will help you with this. Seek your identity in Him.

  5. Wow, loved this post. I have seen this same camaraderie when riding with my son in his Jeep. Jeep folks have a specific wave, and no matter how old or new their Jeep is, they always wave. It is so important for us to share God’s love with others. I know I fail so many times in this, and other times, I know I am making a difference. As it says in 1 Corinthians 13, I can have the faith to move a mountain or I may prophecy and speak great mysteries but if I don’t have love, I am as annoying and distracting as a clanging cymbal. Lord, give us all a revelation of your love for us so that we in turn can pour your love on others!

  6. Hi Dawn,
    I really appreciated your thoughts this morning. Well written. This very subject has been on my heart lately. My word lately has been unity. It keeps showing up in the most unlikely places.
    So I really appreciate your words. Thanks so much, Dawn

  7. Dawn, thank you for this post and for your question. I’ve been the new kid (or left out kid) enough that I know that pain. Frequently, my way of including others is to sit by them, initiate introductions, get to know them, and hope to convey through a smile and body language that they’re a part of the group. It usually takes me out of my comfort zone, but it’s only a step of faith, not a leap, when I’m focused on meeting the other person’s need.

    • Hi Pearl! I love how you said that this takes you out of your comfort zone. It is such a leap of faith, but such a good one 🙂 So glad that you taking them, dear sister. It encourages me to do so too 🙂

  8. I love this! I always say, as women, we are designed by God to be HeartSisters….kind, loving, supportive, encouraging….full of joy, hope, peace and laughter!

  9. I am usually kind because I feel other people, but I have to say, God is working on a weak spot. I struggle with people that live a lazy lifestyle, or mooch off others or parent with negligence and frustration in the lead. I was raised in abuse so it pokes a wound and makes me want to run the other way for fear of its effect on me. However, I am on a journey to find a way to break through that shell of obnoxious behavior and let kindness speak that this woman is “one of us”. Please pray with me on this.

    • Jen,
      Mary God bless you for your sincerity–which I am sure He is so pleased with–as many people do not allow themselves to see their deep within themselves. I am so impressed with your self-knowledge. I will pray for you as I, too, know my own sinfulness and see my own behaviors and yet, sometimes feel so helpless to be able to actually change it. Then … of course … I can’t. He can! God bless you!
      Sr. Mercia Mary

  10. Dawn, praise be to our Heavenly Father for these beautiful words of unity. It poses the question “How can we be welcoming today?” Its hard some days to be that way, to be open and vulnerable, especially when hurt, to let down the walls and welcome others. The Lord leads me through each baby step of faith to trust in His protection and love so that I can be a place of welcome by welcoming Him who loves and welcomes us. We risk hurt in these places, but when we reach out, we do so in trust of His love for all of us. May we each be welcoming beacons of His love for our brothers and sisters as we are moved by His Holy Spirit in creating unity one precious person at a time :).

  11. It is always an encouraging moment as God intertwines the same message through various sources, and the “ah ha” is recognized!!!
    Two weeks ago our women’s Bible study started a series and it was all about connectedness and mentoring and the importance of our “sisters in Christ”. A couple of days later a friend called about half my age and asked if I would be her mentor, then I attended a birthday party where my relative asked if I would tell her more about the Bible. God truly holds our hands and pulls us through all the places we need to be, then connects us and puts people in our path that we need to spend quality time with, be observant of those who need us as much as we need them !! Your blog through the grace of Christ, as always, posted in perfect timing !

    • Louise, thank you for sharing! I love seeing the same thread weaving through multiple conversations and situations. It sounds like you’re being uniquely placed to bless some women in your life.

  12. I’m with Jessica on this on, people can’t look you in the eye anymore.. Sometimes, it ‘s electronic but maybe it’s a fear of judgement, condemnation. Instead of just telling people about Jesus they should be seeing Him in us.

  13. Yes, embrace our differences and quit attacking and judging one another. Iron doesn’t sharpen iron when we are both the same. My friend says her dad used to say about his marriage to his wife, who was very different in personality and ideas then him. “If we were both alike, there would only need to be one of us in this marriage.”

    • Theresa, I love your comment “iron doesn’t sharpen iron when we are both the same.” We’ve got to be tender towards those different than ourselves instead of steeling ourselves against them.

  14. Dawn,

    I live in the south. In the small town where I reside everyone beeps, smiles and waves hi-even if we don’t know you. I guess it’s just a southern country tradition.

    I must admit I used to judge people by what they wore to church on Sunday. Skirt to short, flip flops, etc. I have since rethought that and realize I am grateful they are in the house of God hearing His word and living it out in the community!

    People love getting hugs-especially the elderly. I visit the assisted living facility and see my dad several days a week. Most times I hug one or two of the residents. I want to show them some love and attention. It’s how I want to be treated!! As for differences of opinions-I relish that. If everyone were the same how boring would that be?! I respect others opinions and listen to their reasoning.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, I’ve been guilty of judging other women on what they wear to church too. We’ve got to keep our small differences from preventing us from seeing our unity in Christ.

  15. To silently communicate to another woman that she is one of my people, I can look her directly in the eye and smile. This is an acknowledgement that she exists; that she is seen; that she is one of God’s creations, known and dearly loved.
    I have learned this by watching my son who is a server at Texas Roadhouse. He does this at every one of his tables, and it is awesome to watch. The people just light up, because he has acknowledged them. He does this intentionally, so that the love of Jesus shines through him.
    Thank you, Dawn, for your encouraging words and willingness to share the love of Christ 🙂

      • Me, too. It is so humbling. I thank God everyday for the gift of motherhood, because it has given me a different lens to look through. We serve a great God 🙂

  16. This has been wonderful! Finding this (in)courage community it a powerful blessing from my Lord for this time in my life and I thank all of you.

    I have to comment on the judging others by their dress. I came to the southwest years ago, leaving a church with a legalistic outlook. One Sunday a woman came into the church I was in here and I was struck by how very pretty she was . . .BUT my mind was saying “surely she must have some sort of jacket to wear over that halter top!” When I got home I was still dwelling on how inappropriate I thought that was. I read, a LOT, and that afternoon I picked up the book I was reading. It was “The Jesus Style” by Gayle D. Erwin. It opened, not at the nearer-to-the-front spot where my book mark rested. I looked at the page and read “you cannot judge the spirituality of another by the type of clothing worn, nor the amount of flesh it covers.” In the years since I have seen Mr. Erwin ministering at a church in this area (thanks to live streaming) and he is wonderfully powerful in his teaching.

  17. I do not engage in any kind of formal exercise on a regular basis. We now have a very nice recreation area within a reasonable drive from my home. I do own and wear an activity tracker on a daily basis. One time I was at the rec area walking and saw a woman whose shape was similiar to mine also walking. I didn’t say a word but gave her the thumbs up. She did smile in acknowledgement. When we see other trying to better our health a simple thumbs up and a smile can convey a lot, at leas to my heart.