I give myself away.
Constantly. I bleed myself dry for people – making time where none exists, overcoming impossible obstacles, showing up when I’m too sick to stand, putting my own needs last, saying yes when everyone else has said no. And then, when I have nothing left to give, I still say yes and give a little bit more. Why? Because they ask. I am ultra-dependable that way, often to the detriment of myself.
This is me. I don’t ask for anything in return. I don’t demand respect or seek glory. I don’t want recognition or accolades. I’m not ‘awesome’ or a ‘good person’ (though, Jesus in me is). I do it all for a love planted so deeply in my soul that I don’t know how to say no. Midnight video calls with complete strangers, desperate last minute trips to find 1000 washcloths SOMEwhere in our city, sitting in my car for hours so my children can get ‘fed’ despite the mile-long to-do list back at home, dropping everything to be there when no one else can or will, transferring funds that were earmarked for something important to folks because their family can’t eat and that’s more important to us than our own plans, shouldering the sting of seething words and misdirected anger that aren’t even mine to burden…these things are my everyday life. I wouldn’t change it. I couldn’t.
People are unappreciative, demanding, betraying, exhausting. I haven’t slept in two days because my heart is so heavily burdened – because I cannot walk away (even though I want to) even when people hurt me. Because no isn’t part of my vocabulary. Because I cannot turn a blind eye to the need. But caring about brokenness ends up breaking you pretty deeply every now and again. It hurts when people lie to or about you. It hurts when people shout ugly names and accusations at you. It hurts when people question your motives and integrity after you have bled for them. It hurts when people only see you for what you can do for them and never for who you are.
It hurts when people shove you in front of the bus to save themselves. It just does.
But tomorrow and every other tomorrow thereafter I know I will get up, bandage my wounds, and love them anyway, knowing that it’s just a matter of time before they hurt me again. I will continue to give myself away. I don’t know how to be anything else other than who I am.
I will do it for Him.
Perhaps that’s what Jesus meant by, “Pick up your cross daily and follow me.” It’s hard. Loving people is, oh-so-very hard. They will leave you beaten, bruised, and bloody without a backwards glance. I promise, they will. I mean…they nailed him to a cross for his love, why should I expect any different?
But, incredibly enough, He loved them anyway. Willingly. So then shall I.
Beautifully, brokenly yours,