My sweet Natalie works at Marriott. On a recent visit to Phoenix, I ran into a friend of Natalie’s in the hotel lobby, a friend we’ve known forever and who worked with Natalie at their first property. She mentioned that the desk manager had been at that same property with them. So I went to introduce myself to him as Natalie’s mom. I was already anticipating a wonderful, Oh, so nice to meet you! I love Natalie… , because not only is Natalie an exceptional worker, she’s an amazing and delightful human being, and to know her is to love her! (Did I mention I’m her mom?)
“Hi, I’m Natalie Cottrell’s mom,” I said, explaining the connection with our friend he’d just greeted so warmly, and reminding him they’d all worked at that first property together.
I got nothin. Just a blank stare. “She must have started after I left,” he said… politely of course, but lacking all the warm connection I had anticipated — because he didn’t know who she was! He couldn’t picture her bouncy effervescence, her joyful spirit, her beautiful smile. All that was in my mind but not his — because he didn’t know her.
What an object lesson that was, I thought, walking away. Relationship is everything. Everything. Marriage is about relationship. Child-rearing is about relationship. God is about relationship. Friends, community, moral support — everything comes down to relationship. Knowing each other.
I love the old adage: rules without relationship equals rebellion. In parenting, marriage, church. It all falls apart without relationship. And yet love (relationship) covers a multitude of sin!
Whatever is going on in your life, seek out the connection in relationship. Seek to know someone. Seek to be known. Seek to love.