For years I lived an isolate life. My independence and stubbornness kept people at bay, and I had convinced myself that I wanted to be alone. When I started working here at CTK, life was very transient. That was also the case for my job. I mostly worked from home staring at a computer. The transient state of the church and my job tricked me into believing that I would simply have tasks to check off, and all would be right in my world. How wrong I was. In my very first meeting with Rick, he explained how a part of the job was going to be people. I shrugged it off. After all, I didn’t even have a desk.
I’m a very task oriented person, and too often, I don’t see people, only the task at hand. A few months into my job, Rick sat me down to discuss something he’d heard me say. I had been talking to a volunteer and had apparently been a bit brusk. He pointed out to me how my whole conversation with that volunteer had been about the task at hand and that at no point in time did I actually talk with that person. He asked me to work on it. Reluctantly, I decided to try and my trying became a task. At the beginning of all my conversations I would inquire about the person. Once the inquiry was checked off, I could then move onto the task at hand. I had turned a whole person into a line on my to do list.
For the next few months I continued to start my conversations with a personal inquiry, and they would respond. Most of the time the requisite answer, “I’m fine,” would be given, and I could move on. But, sometimes I would get real answers. In the real answers, I started to learn people’s stories. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I was getting to know them, and in this process I was also getting to know Jesus. He would show me His love for His people; He opened my heart and mind to love them as well.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped worrying about the tasks. I still have a to do list that I write out each week, but it has become secondary to the opportunities around me to connect with people. It hasn’t been easy and I still have to work on making people first, but I also now seek people out. I hear their stories, and I appreciate their companionship. I understand what Rick was telling me in that first meeting, my job -- my life -- really is all about people.