"Sometimes I feel invisible. Do you know what I mean?”
These were the words that came from my daughter as soon as she got into the car. "I do know what you mean," I answered, "and it feels really weird, doesn’t it?" She went on to tell me how she asked some girls at school if she could play Tag with them at recess (a big risk for her) and they forgot about her and no one ever tagged her. Of course, we all know that the goal of Tag is, in fact, not to be tagged. But winning the game wasn’t what she was after. She was craving a connection with those girls.
We are all craving that connection on some level. We want to be seen; we want to be "tagged.” The odd coincidence is not lost on me that “tagged” is the word we use in the world of social media to show that we were included in a particular event, a thought, etc. Maybe life is a big game of Tag. If you are “tagged,” you are seen and included. Having been on the receiving end of not being “tagged” so many times and “tagging” at the expense of someone else’s feelings, I now share very, very little on social media. The risk of hurting another person is not worth the payoff of everyone thinking my photo is cool and “liking” it. I am not admonishing those who love social media. I am just sharing what works and doesn’t work for me in my life right now. Who knows? In six months I could be the most prolific poster of all time! But for now...for me...real, true face-to-face connection is where the good stuff happens. It's where the realness of life occurs - the good, the bad and the ugly of life and I love every minute of it.
I crave real connections and I suspect that I am not the only one. Spending one-on-one time with someone lets them know that they are important to you. That you want to be around them, hear them and see them, share a laugh, share a tear, a struggle or joy. For goodness sake, put that phone away. Whatever is happening on Facebook can wait. Live in this moment, with the precious soul in front of you. I love to connect with a girlfriend over lunch or watching our kiddos play in the park. Sometimes it happens unexpectedly and you find yourself having the deepest soul-baring talk of your life hiding in the shade while your kids are swimming on a hot summer day. Always be open to connection, which sometimes means getting your nose out of that phone (I am speaking to myself here). Send a note to someone, a real one with a stamp and everything, and let her know how much you appreciate her friendship, that you are thinking of her, whatever is on your heart. To get a piece of real mail and see someone's handwritten words is a truly personal gift. Smile at a stranger and pray silently for them. Hand a homeless woman a meal or some much needed personal items and look her in the eye and say, "I will pray for you" and do it. This thing called connection is hugely powerful. We all want to be seen, to know that we matter to someone, that our existence has some meaning. I challenge you to try this connection thing. Beautiful things will come of it.
This week is all about the LOVE chase - going out into the world and letting someone know that they are seen, heard, valued and visible. In that moment I had with my daughter in the car, she needed to feel exactly that, and to know that I understood her pain. Later that night, I reminded her that she is never invisible. God sees her, always. He sees every joy and pain and difficult day and He knows all about it and is always with her. We talked about how the most important connection of our lives is our connection with Him, and I shared with her how I have failed to connect with God sometimes the way I should. I was reminded that the connection that I should always crave the most is a connection with Him. Oh, how He shows me so much grace during those times. God is always ready to connect, always chasing after me, and sometimes in the most subtle ways. Sometimes He uses the sweetest girl I have ever known to speak to me and wake me up.
I can’t wait to see all of the creative ways that you show love to others. I am making it my mission to come up with a way every day this week to show love to others. Join us as we #lovechase and connect!
Barb calls herself the old girl of the bunch. She is an observer and a comforter. If there is a hurting soul in the room, God will likely lead Barb to her. She would say that she has always felt God’s presence but didn’t know what it was until she was older. God is always chasing her through music. She feels music like a very deep emotion. A song will speak to her and can bring her to tears or fill her with immeasurable joy, or sometimes both at the same time. She listens to anything from hymns to Van Halen and all the stuff in between. Barb is married to a man she describes as the most kind and generous person she has ever known and together they parent a beautiful, joyful, loving and challenging daughter.