I would like them to say:
He was real. Pretension makes me nauseous, and sometimes I am nauseating, but my goal is to be real. Being real gives other people permission to be real and that brings healing. So, I want to be the wounded healer, the guy who has been repeatedly beat up, but hasn’t given up. I love this quality in others and I am very suspicious of people who project that they have it all together.
He was a lover. I understand this to be job one for a Jesus follower. I used to always think in terms of change and what people should become. Now I think more about how to love them as they are, knowing full well that love is the greatest transformational force in the universe. It seems like love is usually conveyed in very little things that communicate a very big message. It’s just being there, being ready to respond quickly to a need, giving hugs freely, rolling up your sleeves and pitching in, remembering things about people, and being bold enough to say the words.
He stayed at it. The important things in life often grow out of an uncomfortable bit of twists and turns. Our plans never pan out as projected. There will be unforeseeable weirdness ahead. More course corrections that you ever imagined will need to be made. More determination than you currently have will be needed to see things through.
Sometimes the bumps in the road are not circumstances. Sometimes they are our own fear. Yet, if we believe that God wants us to do something, if this thing is who we really are, if it must be done; we had darn well better stay at it. So, get up off the ground, brush the dust off the seat of your pants, re-adjust your confidence in God to work through you, listen carefully to what your heart is telling you, rather than those knee-jerk emotions, and get back at it.