I think I may be succumbing to a chronic case of ‘Sappy’! I’m not talking about maple syrup kind of sappy, but the quick-grab-me-a-tissue Hallmark channel kind. While this may be frowned upon by today’s society, (and I must admit I have been guilty of that as well), the older I get the more I am leaning right on in to it, running mascara and all.
When I first moved to Modesto, I knew no one. We had moved from a city in the Bay Area where I had lived since Junior High. I knew people, and people knew me. It was not uncommon to run into people I knew at Target or the supermarket, or to see acquaintances while driving around town.
When I first moved here people were kind and friendly, but I didn’t know them. Fast forward 19 years, and the other day I ran into two people I knew (well enough to give hugs to) at Winco, and then driving down the street recognized another couple in the car behind me.
So here’s where the sappy part comes in. It made me tear up a little when I saw the familiar faces in the car behind me (don’t judge!). You see, it made me think about how grateful I am to know people, to be a part of a community. It reminded me of the days when I first came here and longed for a time when I would see someone I knew in the grocery store.
I remember praying, asking God to give me new friends and a new community. And, I remember the first time I ran into someone I knew at the store, there was probably a tear or two at that recognition as well. It was happening, I was building a community. Sappy huh?
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
It also caused me to think of my relationship with God. There was a time when I thought He was nice and all, but I didn’t know Him. When I got to know Him, I would begin to see Him more and more wherever I went and that made me feel like I belonged. Guess what? I’ve known Him for so long that know I see Him everywhere and that is as it should be.
I am embracing my sappiness as I cry at coffee commercials, as I cry when I see other people cry, and, well, sometimes for any old reason. I guess I am taking literally Romans 12:15 where Paul says to,
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
I think it is the Lord living in me softening my hard old heart as I am… just living the thing.