I loved my babysitters growing up. Like idolized, worshipped, obsession level love. They were so. freaking. cool.
Especially Misha, she was the coolest of all because she talked to me like I was a friend, not a kid. We would do the globe game (get out a globe, close our eyes, spin it and put our finger on it to find out where you’ll live one day – anyone else ever play this??), braid each other’s hair, listen to music with her Walkman, climb trees, play M.A.S.H.
I loved her because unlike most teenagers, she didn’t treat me like a nobody. She embraced me. And that meant the world to my nine-year-old self.
Yesterday, a neighbor girl stopped by to see if her and her little sister could play. While she was over, I was folding laundry, doing chores, being busy. And God prompted me, “You’ve asked for people to encourage, to influence, to love. I brought someone right to your door.” I immediately stopped what I was doing and just hung out with her. We listened to music, she showed me new songs and I showed her some I thought she would like.
As she left she said, “I’m so glad you liked my music. You mean a lot to me and I really hoped you would like it.” I heard the words behind her words. “Thank you for spending time with me. Thank you for making me feel important, seen, loved.” I felt deeply grateful I’d stopped my busy to-do list to be her friend.
I’m older now, but I still remember my babysitter Misha, and I bet you still remember someone from your childhood who made you feel seen, important, loved. And I hope this sweet girl will remember me.
That’s the cool thing — now that we’re grownups, WE can be a Misha to someone else. We can make someone feel loved, seen, important by simply treating them like they belong, and they matter to us. THAT’S the truest influence of all: not being too cool, too mature, too busy to love the person right in front of you, make time for them, and show them they matter.
I encourage you to join me in praying and asking God to open your eyes to see the people he’s put in your path to love today. Right now. Do it! God, open my eyes to see the one. To see who you’ve purposefully placed in my life TODAY to love well. Help me not be too busy, too self-consumed, too old to give of my time and energy and love someone well today.
Did you have someone like Misha in your life growing up? Who can you love like this in your life now?