I have always known, as has any one who knows us, that Rick and I have very different in personalities. We clearly share the same faith, convictions and values, but the ways we react and interact to almost every event in the world are almost diametrically opposed.
We recently took a test called Clifton StrengthsFinder for our work with Military Ministry. It helps us (organizationally) to know the strengths of each person, so that the ministry functions to its potential. As I watched Rick greeting people on Sunday morning at church last week, I was reminded that his number one strength is “Woo.” A person with woo, honestly believes that there is no such thing as a stranger, just friends yet unmet. A “woo” loves the challenge of meeting people and making connections — and though we have just identified this as a legitimate strength, this would come as no surprise to anyone who knows Rick. On the other side of this relationship is me and one of my top strengths is “relator.” A relator derives the most pleasure from being around a few close friends and likes to form relationships with a few confidants. A relator feels no compulsion to meet everyone in the room, or even acknowledge that there are other people in the room. I tend to care deeply about fewer people and that is enough for me.
Clearly, Rick and I operate in separate spheres when we’re out in any type of a crowd. And that’s okay–God made us a team. Hopefully a team that does not want to do permanent damage to each other…but that’s another reason God gave us the Holy Spirit .
But there is another aspect to my husband’s strengths and his willingness to listen to the Holy Spirit that stood out to me the other day. We were on the road and we stopped in at the hotel, where a Weekend to Remember Star (Military) Event will take place. Rick wanted to check in with their sales people to find out if there would be special deals/military rates for active duty couples attending the event. So he spoke to the sales rep, explained who he was, the ministry we work with, and why he had stopped in.
As he did this the sales rep told Rick that one of the higher level managers had a son who had returned from Afghanistan and this son had recently committed suicide. Rick asked immediately if he could see this father who has suffered such great loss.
This is where I see such a great difference between my husband and me. Rick runs to the pain and I wander around pretending the pain doesn’t exist. Rick knows he has words of healing, words of life, words of encouragement and he can’t wait to take them to the people who need them. This drives his life and his ministry because it is his true heart, the heart of the Father. I admire him more than words can say.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. I Corinthians 9:24