A couple months ago, I was with my daughter in Chicago.
We passed by a homeless man.
He was holding a styrofoam cup above his head.
He would hold the cup up as people walked by, sometimes even shake it, hoping for someone to put money inside.
Most of us have seen a scene like this in one form or another.
After we walked past the man, I started thinking,
There really was not a whole lot that I could put inside his cup that would change his life completely.
Even if everyone put some change inside his cup, would it be enough to change that man’s life?
Would it ever be enough?
If I was quite honest, I saw a lot of myself in that man.
No, I have never sat on the sidewalk, begging for people’s change.
Yet how many times in my own life have I held out my little styrofoam cup out to people?
Not in a literal sense, of course.
Yet oftentimes I am reaching out my empty cup, hoping people will fill it
Hoping that someone will come to me
With that compliment that I am desiring,
That thoughtful action,
That encouraging text
I am looking at my husband, my kids, my friends
And in a sense saying
“Fill me up.”
“Make me feel significant.”
When we look at love and relationships in this way we end up feeling disappointed and let down.
It’s not that we are not truly loved by the people in our lives.
It is that our view of love is warped.
When we look at love as something that the people in our world need to offer to us,
We will end up discouraged.
If my only view of love is what people can give me,
When I start to look to the people in my life as my source of validation, hoping for them to meet my deepest need,
Love from other people will constantly fail me.
Because people were never meant to be gods
So why would we want them to do for us what on God can truly do?
Because no one person on this earth can truly fill our empty styrofoam cup.