I felt like a kitten walking among mountain lions.
As an eighth grader in a public speaking class, I was surrounded by sophomores and juniors. Public speaking was already a challenge for me. Why did I have to be in a class filled with older, more confident students? I felt so intimidated, so unnoticed, so . . . excluded. Was it me against them? It might as well have been me against the world.
To be honest, the entire semester was challenging for me. But one person made it much easier. Her name was Victoria.
I’d known Victoria on-and-off for several years. She was older than me, so we hadn’t been close friends in the past; but that semester was different.
She made a special effort to be around me. Even though she could’ve ignored me, she took the time to talk with me. She smiled at me and laughed with me when I felt intimidated, she sat with me when I felt lonely, and she encouraged me when I felt ignored.
Simply having a friend made the class manageable. She didn’t care about winning any popularity contests. She didn’t ignore me because of my age, my lack of friends, or my shyness. Instead, she put on a heart of compassion. God asks us each to do the same.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (Col. 3:12).
Victoria showed me what it looks like to live out that verse. As I think of her example, I can’t help but ask myself, am I as compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient toward others as she was toward me? Usually, I’m not.
If we don’t reach out to the lost and the lonely, who will? True, that often means stepping away from our familiar circles of friends, moving outside of our comfort zones, and reaching beyond surface-level friendships. Yet it is worth the risk.
We all have at least one reason to love others: God loved us first.
I was the lonely girl who needed someone to reach out to me. But now I can be the befriended girl who reaches out to someone in need.
Since you likely know how it feels to be neglected, unnoticed, and intimidated (don’t we all?), it may be difficult for you to reach out to others—simply because you’re waiting for someone to reach out to you.
Good news! Someone has.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:10–11).
Maybe you don’t have many friends or you constantly feel isolated or people seem to ignore your pain.
But we all have at least one reason to love others: God loved us first.
We love because he first loved us (v. 19).
There is probably someone in your life who feels intimidated and alone and who desperately needs a friend. You can be that friend—because Jesus is that friend to us!
Victoria showed Christ’s kindness to me, and I still remember it.
- Has God placed someone in your life who needs compassion?
- Have you noticed anyone around you who needs a friend?
- What impact could your kindness have on someone today?
Tell us about it in a comment below.