"I look at the life of my Savior, who stopped for one. So I keep stopping and loving one person at a time." These words from Katie Davis in her book Kisses from Katie, have been at the forefront of my mind lately. I have been thinking about what it means to stop and love one person at a time. In today's busy world just stopping is difficult. Jesus was busier than I am, and yet there are countless examples in the Bible of Him stopping to love just one. He stopped for Zaccheus. He stopped for the woman about to be stoned. He stopped for the man lowered through the ceiling that needed to be healed. He stopped sleeping to calm a storm. He stopped to heal the lepers. He stopped to heal a blind man. These are only a few examples of times that He stopped there are many others!
I think stopping is the hard part. Stopping requires me to cease what I was doing. It requires me to set my agenda aside. Stopping takes the focus off of me and requires me to focus on the one person in front of me. Then of course there is loving. Loving the person that you stopped for can mean many things. At the very least it is giving them your undivided attention...undivided attention in a world full of distractions! What does that look like? Undivided attention requires listening with more than your ears. It's being fully engaged so that you are able to see past the surface and into the heart of the person in front of you. This kind of attention means that regardless of who this one person is that I am stopping to love, I see them with God's eyes. I see them through the eyes of love because that is how God sees me.
This is a tall order. God places people in front of us daily. Some of those people are "regulars" like our spouses, children, and co workers. Sometimes they are the ones that are hardest to stop for because we are so used to them being around that we take them for granted. How well are we loving them? Do we take the time to really hear what they have to say? Do we take an interest in what they are saying or are our minds elsewhere? What about the people God sends our way who aren't "regulars"? When we spend time with them do they walk away feeling loved? When they are sharing their thoughts and feelings with us, do we make them feel that they are the only one in the room because we are so focused on stopping to love them that nothing can distract us?
I am convicted by the thought that God who has to take care of a whole world full of people, is never too busy to make time for me. When I come to Him I have His undivided attention and His love. He never says He is too busy or asks me to come back later. I know He is this way with everyone and yet manages to make each one of us who know Him feel like the apple of His eye. Those words from Katie Davis have grabbed a hold of me and I am praying that God will help me to be like Him. I want to stop as He does and love one person at a time.