Dear God, I’ve never been great at reading people. I tend to play things pretty straight so I expect others are doing the same. I forget to look beneath the facade someone is showing me and try to see what might be driving their motivations. I mean, I’ve gotten better at it over the last 10 or 15 years. I at least recognize the need to do it. One of the first things I do for new volunteers and employees at our clinic is show them a Chick-fil-a training video called “Every Life Has a Story.” It shows a camera panning through a Chick-fil-a restaurant, zooming in on each person, including the staff, and revealing a fact about their personal life in a caption beneath their smiling or not smiling face. If only we all came with captions.
There are some people around me that I need to really live up to being better about reading what’s going on beneath the surface. My wife. My children. My staff. My friends. I was talking with one recently, and I just knew that the words I was hearing didn’t match the demeanor I was reading. There was an unconvincing disconnect that told me things were not as they were trying to portray. Responding to that disconnect is another thing altogether.
Father, make me the husband, father, and friend you need me to be for those around me. Help me to know when and how to reach out, and when and how to remain silent. Help me to be what you need me to be in each life so that I would consider my own life worth nothing to me, but that I might complete the task and finish the race you have given to me, regardless of what it costs me. For your glory and your plan, oh Lord.
In Jesus’s name I pray,