I want to take a moment to express something that has really been bugging me for the past couple of weeks. And it may seem like I'm being overbearing, harsh, or even downright selfish...but since "Putting Things Before People" is one of my biggest pet peeves... I feel the need to share some of the thoughts rolling around in my head... And just to forewarn you, it is kind of "ranty" but I gotta get it out..and I figure this is the platform I'm choosing...just to be honest.
During my visit home, I've gotten to see some true colors flowing from people. A friend of mine was hanging out with me, and we wanted to hang out with some of our old friends. Bear in mind, that my friend and I are NO LONGER living in Austin...and this visit home, is going to be the only one until the end of June, beginning of July (for me/May...i think for her). And we've both been gone for at least 6 months. So when we come in town to visit, it's really not asking a lot to have others hang out with us. I wish things would have turned out better, and people would have chosen to hang out with us instead of check their emails or play games or go to bed early. And to those who re-arranged your schedules and took off time and made the tough decision to wake up earlier the next day to get things done, THANK YOU! I/We had a BLAST hanging out and talking with you!
I really had some interesting experiences. My friend was released from our school last year due to lack of tuition. And she is very analytical, and constantly has thoughts flowing through her head. And though the majority of the time, she has this pet proverbial rain cloud looming over her head, she has some valid hurts. When election time came around, she had some strong viewpoints and got a LOT of flack for it. Some people in general, just have this view of her as a person because her viewpoints vary from status quo and because she questions a LOT of things. I'm not saying she's right about everything, she's very opinionated, and sometimes she's wrong. But when people come up to you and say, "Oh, you're __________. I've heard about you...." (in a kind of inauspicious tone) And then they just walk away, leaving you wondering..."What have they heard?" It's hard to not let things get to you.
As easy as it is for us to teach others: "IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK..."
It does matter. We, as human beings, care about what other people think of us. I'm not saying that it means we love God less. It's just this utter timeless desire to be accepted by others. So when you've spent an extended amount of time building a relationship with people, and giving your all to see them get better, and you come back to a cold shoulder, it really makes you feel like a loser. And that matters.
But I think what made me madder was that after my friend flew back to her new state...the same people who treated us like jerks...wanted to come up to me and hug me and treat me like royalty. And I was just so amazed. I was mad and amazed. It was like night and day. Almost this bi-polar effect. Did they really just come up to me and act like they weren't a complete jerk to my friend, who they were also supposed to be "friends" with? Come again? eh? not cool.
you moved away to a different state, and payed money to visit home, and everyone treated you like a social pariah. Not very awesome, is it? What if you spent significant time with the same core group of people, and when they see you after 6 months, they look at you like you're this crack addict....or worse, they smile to your face, and say crappy things about you to others when you're not even around to defend yourself. Makes you feel really valued, eh? I think not.
Is that really what God had in mind when He said to consider others better than yourself? When He said to love thy neighbor as thyself? I'm sorry, but love is more action than emotion.
People aren't perfect, and I know it. But we can learn. I have to learn ALL THE TIME!! I'm totally NOT PERFECT (sorry folks!). But I don't care what's going on, people are always more important than things to me. And if a friend of mine came up to visit me, I would do everything in my power to make them feel like a million bucks. Even if they weren't my close close close friend. People matter. And we should treat them like humans, not complete losers, especially if we're going to go around referring to ourselves as Christians.