The One Thing We All Have in Common

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We’re all looking for love.

I don’t know who you are, and I am taking a chance here to assume I know anything about you – but I reckon we have something in common, and that’s that we are all looking for love. We all have a deep desire to love, and be loved. We’re created with a desire to be around people and connect with other humans.

When I was younger I felt totally misunderstood. I thought I had so much heart to offer, but I wasn’t really sure where or how to express it. I felt there was this deeper version of myself that people couldn’t understand, or maybe I was just really bad at showing it.  What I did know is that I really loved big. I loved my friends and I knew that I would do just about anything for them.

As I got older I grew more into my strengths and learned more about myself too.  I’m a do-er, I’m good with technology, numbers, strategy, and business. All of those things are wonderful but excelling in those things made me feel like I had to give up this other side that truly loved people just as much.

Over the last few years I have had this internal battle of knowing where to focus my energy, and how to be great at both.

The first duty of love is to listen.  -Paul Tillich
The One Thing We All Have in Common

I recently heard our Director share about the importance of creating time, and space to listen to peoples stories. She shared about the importance of getting to know people, hearing their hearts, and making time for those around us.

This message sunk deep in my heart and reminded me of what’s most important in this world.

The people.

Christ came to this earth for people.  He didn’t have a separate agenda to get stuff done. No task list, no deadlines, no stress. He focused on really listening to people, hearing what they needed, and loving them. His ultimate goal was far bigger than small miracles performed along the way, he came to bring life far after what we live on earth. However, what a shame for us to forget all the life he brought while he lived here.

The One Thing We All Have in Common

It’s so easy to get caught up in our lives, but listening is often the biggest way we can love.
People feel loved when they feel understood, heard, and valued.

What if everyone around me always felt loved by me?

The last five years of my life I have been committed to serving in places like Papua New Guinea. Suddenly being surrounded by new cultures and learning to embrace them has changed my mindset, and my approach to people. I’ve found that it’s not just about helping people, there’s an opportunity for us all to strengthen each other.

In Papua New Guinea, task never takes priority over a person. Family and friends are lifelines, their biggest resource, their survival. We say it takes a village to raise a child, and I have seen it first hand. Our worlds are different, at my work I spend my day working at a desktop computer running advertisements and managing social media. They work together to live, to get food and water, and survive. When we go to PNG to serve the small villages, it’s not a fast moving operation all about how much we can offer them. At the end of the day the most important thing is to listen, understand, and value people. I’ve learned that if I take the time to sit and listen to the mums in the village then I have the opportunity to hear their real needs. Without taking this time, I end up “fixing” something that isn’t broken.

No matter where you are in the world, there’s one thing we all have in common. We need each other. 

The biggest love I can offer isn’t fixing problems.  The biggest love I can offer is to listen, learn, appreciate, value, and open my heart to those around me.

When we make the time to listen to someone, we have the opportunity to understand their heart.


-by Lea Emerson
YWAM DTS Max Alumni

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