This year, I have really been challenging myself to show up for people. Not just visiting them in the hospital or officiating at their wedding, but also when something great is happening in their lives.
Seems like Jesus did a good job at showing up for people at their dinner tables and parties and even a wedding he didn’t officiate.
Now, I’m not “Super Pastor” by any means, but when I hear “the voice” (and I don’t mean the TV show), saying “I need you to show up,” I try not to argue with Him. So, when my friend Nettie called me and said she was dancing at the Del Mar Fair this summer, I scheduled the date into my calendar. Nettie is a 45-year-old woman with a condition called Williams Syndrome, a genetic condition. It results in several challenges, such as cardiovascular disease, facial abnormalities, developmental delays and learning disabilities.
On the flip side, Williams Syndrome folks are highly social people with great verbal abilities. The best part? They have an overly optimistic outlook on life. You can see why everybody could use a friend like Nettie! As a side note to the optimistic part, one time I took a picture of Nettie, she looked at it and said “Oh wow! I’m so beautiful! Maybe you shouldn’t show this to anybody; they might get jealous!”
Don’t you wish you had a little of whatever that is?
So I decided to surprise Nettie and show up for her big dance debut. When the day arrived, I went to the office to finish some work, stopped by the store to pick up some flowers for the dancing girl, and then home to change and meet up with my husband, daughter and two grandkids. Nettie was going to have quite the fan club. As I walked up to the venue at the fair, I spotted Nettie in the front row waiting with her friends.
I snuck up behind her and called her name, “Nettie!”
I have never been greeted with that much excitement in my life. She literally squeezed me so hard that it took the breath out of me! Pretty soon, Nettie was up on stage dancing her feet off, and then about halfway through her performance, it happened. She turned to the side, with arm outstretched and a big smile — and curled her index finger at me, motioning me up on stage!
“Please, Lord, NO!” I thought. Then came “the voice.” So I looked at my husband, said, “You better record this,” and up on the stage I went to dance with Nettie. She exploded with joy and all of a sudden I couldn’t have cared less what I looked like as I tried to follow the dance moves.
When it was over, I was relieved there were no church people there watching… WRONG! Several church folks ran up to me, arms wide open and saying “Wow, it’s so amazing you made the time for Nettie and how awesome that you got up there and danced! Pastor, you are an incredible example to all of us!”
NOT!!! If they only knew how hard I fought myself to show up. If they only knew how badly I did not want to get up on that stage!
When Jesus showed up on planet Earth for us, it was purely because He loves us. The reason Jesus was not driven by a calendar or the expectations of the religious leaders or worried about what people would think of Him is because LOVE trumped all of that stuff.
I am a driven person, I don’t like failing and I love excellence, but what I have discovered is that many times I need to just show up for people to remind me that love trumps everything.
Who is God talking to you about? Who is your Nettie? Show up. Love people and start dancing again.
“This is my command: love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” — John 15: 12-13
— by Jeanette Moffett
Moffett, is co-founder and co-lead pastor at The Church at Rancho Bernardo.