Recently I spoke at a breakfast Chamber of Commerce meeting. Sitting at my table was a lady who told me she was in the insurance business. The next day she contacted me and was persistent about giving me a presentation. I agreed to give her 20 minutes just as a professional courtesy. She brought her boss with her and we had a pleasant 20 minute interaction, after which I told her I had chosen to keep my current coverage in place. She continued to contact me and I have responded briefly. Yesterday she called me again to ask my advice for growing her business. I gave her some brief tips as I was attempting to get off the phone and back to my important writing deadlines.
This morning I received a lengthy email from this lady – telling me among other things that she was sold by her birthmother at nine months old for $2000. Then at age seven, her adopted mother gave her away to someone else. She was nine years old when she heard in a Sunday School class that Jesus loved her. That was the first time she had ever been told that she was loved by anyone.
And now she’s thanking me profusely for listening, understanding and helping her. As I replay in my mind my interaction with her I’m amazed that she even felt cared for by me. I was encouraging and businesslike but certainly don’t feel that I went out of my way to show personal concern.
Three points for me to remember (and perhaps for you as well):
- I need to be sure that my natural interaction with people validates them as individuals.
- I want to be sensitive to the many hurting people who are hungry for someone to just love them. (Especially at this time of year.)
- What I see as important business may pale in comparison to a critical need right in front of me.