Today I said good-bye to a friend I don't think I'll see again in my lifetime. It was hard.
We didn't hang out a lot, or entertain each other in our homes, or were in a women's bible study during the week, but when we saw each other for the few moments that we had at church, we sought to encourage each other as much as we could with the time that we had. Sungeun has the ability to be in the moment with every person she is with--totally focusing on them and speaking from her heart. She has something uplifting and positive to say to everyone. She loves people, no question. But the fact that she loves God more than people is apparent to all. She lives for His glory.
She said during our farewell that I had encouraged her with my faith in God. I actually encouraged her? During those short little snippets of time when we stopped in the church hallways to breifly catch up, I said things that kept her going in her walk with God? Things that she remembered? This young woman whom I respect deeply and have always looked up to for her rich and vibrant faith? It had to be God, not me. I don't remember anything specific. But I did feel built up everytime I talked with her. Two seconds with Sungeun and I felt drawn closer to God every time. I wanted to know Him more, love and serve Him more, and praise Him more. It wasn't so much what she said that did that, but I believe it was the Holy Spirit emanating from her. She isn't perfect, she'd be the first to say it, and perfection isn't what I'm talking about. She really has the fragrance of God about her, which means she walks a sincere and humble walk with Christ.
So, it is a fine line between people pleasers and people lovers. People pleasers have an air of being unsure all the time and working double time to make certain that everyone they know likes them, or they worry why others don't seem to. People lovers don't worry about what others think of them at all, but they pour out their love from a reserve of love that they get from God. It's unconditional, so whether you like them or not doesn't matter. They aren't threatened by compliments (why did she say that, what is she trying to get from me?) or from criticisms. Because it isn't about themselves to begin with. People lovers have a certain freedom to say the loving thing without concern about their appearence as a "suck up". And if they need to address an issue, they know how to do it directly without fear (who is man that I should fear?) or without being mean. They simply put themselves in your shoes. They treat others as they wish to be treated.
And that is why I miss Sungeun. So, farewell my friend. Vaya con Dios, I love you.