I pulled up to the church and sat in my patched pickup, listening to worship music and watching the world go by. I found myself in no hurry to get out. I covet the solitude and enjoy watching the people scurry about at the same time.
It's a rare day — make that a rare 30 minutes — when I'm not engaged with another person. There's my wife and her honey-do list. I've been working on that list for 38 years. And if my wife doesn't require my help, my children need some attention from their father. Add in the demands of ministry, and someone's always knocking at my door. I wish sometimes I could replace that door with a wall, but I know that wouldn't be right. God has called and equipped me to be involved in people's lives.
Sometimes, these people just want you to walk alongside them. It gives them peace. Sometimes they want you to hold their hands. It gives them strength. Sometimes they want you to give them direction. It gives them hope. And others want you to help them pick up the pieces of a shattered life. It renews their spirits.
You can't do that kind of work with a shield around you. You have to allow people access to your life. Some may wipe the mud off their shoes and onto your heart. But that's what Jesus ministry is: walking out His life in a broken world.