Have you ever sat to listen to someone’s story? Not just the highlights and the gloss overs, but have you listened to the nitty gritty details that actually shape them into the person he or she really is? These are details that ultimately direct their decision making and thought processes.

There’s so much more to the angry attitude of the 34 year old woman working the fast food chain who goes home every evening to a verbally abusive husband. There’s so much more behind the peppy 30 year old who goes into work every day so excited to be there because just a month earlier she thought she might die, leaving behind her family and children because of the chronic disease she battles with every single day.

I’m willing to bet many of you haven’t even taken the time to really look at your own story to better understand why you make the decisions you make. I’ve especially found this to be true for myself as I seek to better understand my own Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Once I started exploring these concepts, I became more interested in what drives others to react the way they do in certain situations.

I was stumped on Sunday. I was presented with a story of a young family who delivered their second child born with a rare cancer for which there is no known treatment. The family is now living at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where this baby is undergoing experimental chemo and we’re asked to pray for a miracle. It broke me. As I prayed, I begged for God to give this family the best Christmas gift ever… then I felt selfish. He already had. That’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? In my spirit, I felt a battle. But, God, how do you convince this mother that Jesus is enough when her baby may be dying? How do you usher in peace when I’m begging for a fight? How do we keep the faith even when you’re answer isn’t the one we want? What if you choose to take him? What if you do choose to heal? Would we be faithful to give you the glory? How will this family be shaped by this battle?

Why do I care so much? And now that I know I do, what will I do about it?

I challenge you this week, holiday season, and New Year, to think about the stories that move you. Figure out why, and do something about it. Maybe it’s raising money or volunteering. Maybe it’s a note of encouragement. Maybe it’s a random act of kindness or spending time listening more. Please share with this community what moves you and what you’re doing about it. If you’re stumped, I’m sure others would be glad to help you think of something.

Have courage! Make a difference. God takes the broken and makes it beautiful!