Uncommon …. influence

Just a few weeks ago, we packed bicycles into the van. We stuffed backpacks with bottles of water and apple juice, chips, homemade chicken salad, grapes and an array of  sweet treats.

We met Britt and her friend Julie there … Joy and I.

When Britt first called to ask if we could get together, she left the “how and where” we would meet up to us. She has traveled a good bit, lived in several cities and been lots of places. She’s always going and doing … so I assumed it might be a “step down” to take a common ride on our average bike and walking trail. I didn’t want to be hemmed in by a restaurant booth, bothered by waitresses or completely distracted by a movie. I wanted us to do something fun and freeing. Little did I know ….

As we rode, Britt confessed that she hadn’t been on a bike since she was probably around Joy’s age. She hadn’t been on this path (at all, if I remember right?).  This type of outing wasn’t her norm.  So, she was thrilled to ride a bike, feel the loose rocks under her tires and the wind in her hair. She … was like a little kid. She was thrilled with our outing choice.

Our world is small. A year ago, during summer camp, Joy met Britt and fell under her sphere of influence. Britt with her engaging smile and blue eyes that sparkle, has a way infecting others with her enthusiasm for life. She follows the rule that I try to instill in Joy: use your drama for good.

While Joy was enamored with Britt at camp, James had become her friend through a completely different circle of influence. He had friends who had introduced them. He had spent some time with her dining, at movies and through fellowship.

After camp ended last summer, Britt prepared to move to Chicago to go to college. So we met at Atlanta Bread for a meal … Joy and I, James and his friends, Britt and her mom. We had such a nice visit. And Britt took time to specifically talk to Joy. This was really about Joy.

Britt likes Joy. She sees something in Joy that I see. She sees a spark of creativity and an energy and determination that is not average. And she wants to encourage that.

So, in Britt’s crazy, whirlwind busy life of coming and going, college and family, moving and shaking, meeting and loving, she carves out time to influence my child.

And I *swoon.*

Britt’s heart desire is to be a world changer. I don’t know HOW God will use her, but He will. She will make difference in this huge orb of green and blue, land and sea, physical and spiritual. She will make a difference.

I reflect back on my own life. It took me years to build the momentum to love others as deeply as she does. It took me decades to embrace individuality that way that she does as a young 20. I am inspired by her focus and energy. She is …. uncommon.

Here is a project that Britt was inspired to create. This video is a good reflection of Britt’s ability to see more than a face, a skin color or a label : she sees value in every body … every soul … every spirit.

I know He will use her on a grand scale,
but He is also using her in a personal, intentional and focused way.
He is using her to influence Joy … to use her drama for good.

Britt has now left Chicago. She has moved to Asheville, NC and plans to finish her schooling there. And I treasure that she continues to nurture a friendship with my girl
because she sees the potential for my youngest.

We rode our bikes down a dirt path close to our home and it looked average and everyday.
But to Britt, it was invigorating and unusual and wonderful.
And as I watched Britt do her average, everyday thing
by pouring her energy and enthusiasm into my daughter’s impressionable spirit
I was moved by how out-of-the-ordinary and uncommon was her gifting.
Britt offers herself …. truly invests freely to encourage others to be
authentic, true and real
and use their drama for good.

For this I am grateful.
And I look forward to her return visits …
when we will fellowship
in what appears to be a common way
sharing an influence that is anything but.

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