Is there someone in your path, in your walk that seems to annoy you? Maybe they are different, maybe they are loud, maybe they seem to be a walking problem. Do we not annoy each other at some point in time? We have those close to us that are easy to love, but they are also easy to be the ones we are annoyed with. Spending much time together can have one of two effects. It can bring us closer together, or it can surely bring us farther apart. But what about that person who seems to be alone, that person who seems to be in need, that person who when we see them coming, we turn and walk the other way? I too have been guilty of this just as you are. We tend to want to speak to those we love and are close to, and those who are different we stray from. But those people are just as we are. They want friendship, they want love, and just maybe they are in your path for a reason. I don't believe in accidents, I believe everything happens for a reason, everyone that crosses our path is there for a purpose, and we can either shun them, or we can turn to them with love. What if you had someone in your life that continually tried to befriend you, they reached out to you for friendship, and yes, they were different, maybe they got on your last nerve, but what if they were needing some guidance, some love to lead them to Jesus, someone to lift them up? What if we continued to ignore them, only to find out later that they took their own life? How would that impact your life? Would that speak to you? Would you then sit back and think, wow, what if I had listened to her one time? What if I had taken the time to share Jesus with her? I think it would only be human to think those thoughts. I have a sister who has tried to commit suicide many times. She has lived a life that has brought hurt to herself and others. There were times I did reach out to her, I did listen, only to get tired of trying, and would stay away. Why is it that we do this? Why do we not keep trying, only to give up after awhile? At times we think that person isn't listening to us, we think they are not hearing a word we are saying, but that isn't always true. When working with the youth of our church in Awana, I worked with the J.V group for eleven years. There were those kids I thought I made an impact on, they were the ones talking and sharing, but there were those kids who sat back and seemed not to pay attention, only later to find out they heard every word I said, only to go home and think upon those words alone. When we think someone is not listening, they usually are. They hear the words, but they don't want to talk about it right then, they need to think to themselves. We have those who love to share, who are people who love to be around others. Then we have those who are quiet, who don't like to share too much with a group, but if they are alone, they will begin to share in time, with trust. We don't always have to be talking, and sharing. There are times we need to hush up, and just listen, just allow that person to share the burdens on their hearts without giving our opinion. There are hurting people everywhere we go. We come in contact with so many who are troubled, and what do we do? Do we reach out, or do we walk away thinking,"I don't have time for their troubles when I have my own to figure out." Life is hard, and everyone isn't blessed to have a close friend, everyone isn't open to sharing in a large group, but if we go to them and tell them,"Hey, I am here for you, anytime you need someone to listen you just give me a call." Take the time to go to them and reach out. We never know what is on the heart of another, but many times we can see the pain in their eyes, we can see it in their walk or their actions. Was there a time when you needed someone? Has someone stepped out and given you a chance? May we do the same for others, may we learn to make the time. And when we ask,"How are you?" be ready to listen, be ready to pray with that soul that is hurting. If we have not been there, we will at one point or another in our lives. You don't have to have the gift of mercy to love others, we just have to remember the mercy and grace Christ gave to us.