Thank You for Being “My Person”
Building relationships that make a difference
I think it was the TV drama “Grey’s Anatomy” that introduced the term “my person.” One of the doctors on the show needed a best friend, yet she was not so good at the friend-thing because she was so driven.
Still, she wanted someone to basically be and do the things a best friend does. So she began calling another doctor, “my person,” and the term has been picked up and amplified—becoming that individual you think of or go to for just about everything.
He is the friend you enjoy being with and love to share life with. She is the first one you want to call, text or contact when something amazing happens (or when it’s the worst thing imaginable).
Your “person” is also the one you can get so quickly annoyed at, yet can’t stay mad at. The spouse, sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend or plain old best friend you are safe being crazy with, laughing until it hurts with and crying that ugly-cry with (which no one else is allowed to see).
Having a “person” is a choice to go beyond the connection of mere shared experiences (like growing up in the same house or sharing a similar life stage). Instead, calling someone “my person” is a commitment to love so deeply that you truly open up the core of who you are.
This relationship means a commitment that sticks through thick and thin, regardless of how weird or socially embarrassing (at times) your friend may be. In those times you throw your arms around him and explain to onlookers, “He’s ‘my person’” and move on like this behavior is normal.
The truth is, we all could use a person in our life—someone to let us know when we have bad breath, someone to call just to talk, someone to sit with us when we don’t want to say anything, someone to celebrate or commiserate with, someone to be both brutally honest and truthfully affirming.
Do you have a person like that? Are you a person like that?
Not long ago, I was in a local coffee shop waiting for my drink and noticed some men out for coffee. They’d just finished laughing at a joke, when one slapped the other on the back and asked, “How are you?”
The other man, who moments earlier had been smiling, suddenly furrowed his brows, and his smile turned into a concerned line. The hand of the other man moved from the back to the shoulder, and he bent down so their eyes could connect. Although they spoke softly, I could still hear.
“Did the results come in?” The answer was a nod.
“And?…” The nod turned into a head shake.
“I am so sorry. Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
And as they walked away, I heard the back-slapper say to his friend in pain, “We got this.…”
I was so glad that guy had a “person.”
The Bible encourages us to step into that level of relationship personally, but also to desire the same for our churches—fostering such a web of strong relationships that, together, we can say about anything, “We got this.”
We know the verses—showing hospitality and care without grumbling about it (1 Peter 4:8-9); bearing with each other’s foibles and idiosyncracies (Ephesians 4:2); outdoing each other in showing honor and kindness (Romans 12:9-10); and forgiving again and again and again (Ephesians 4:32).
We know the Bible stories, too, about how being someone’s “person” means going the extra mile because that friend needs something so very much and it’s something you are able to give (Mark 2:1-12).
Imagine how different our lives would be if we each had such a person. Imagine how different our churches would be if those relationships wove into and over and under everything. Imagine how different our communities and our world would be if we really saw each other instead of overlooking each other as “the other.”
Adapted from “Thank You for Being My Person” from Mike McKay’s blog, “Messages From Mike,” on January 27, 2017—originally written to invite his community into the conversation. “After the post hit the local newspapers,” he says, “I was out walking with my wife when a neighbor yelled, ‘Hi, Mike, loved your article. Here's “my person”!’ The guy next to him smiled and said, ‘He couldn't do this [remodel] project without me!’ I keep praying the Lord will use these posts—that un-churched, non-churched, once-churched people may read them and at least consider God and maybe even consider church.”
To read more about the value of having someone you can call “my person,” and of building that kind of community throughout your church, read “And the Believers Shared All Their Tools With Each Other” at EFCA Today.