This phrase has been tossed around so many times in the past few weeks, maybe even months.
“I had to tell my people.”
“You guys are my people.”
“I need my people.”
It’s a consistent reminder of how great it is to have a community, a home team that goes to bat for you and supports you no matter what. If you mess up, they tell you to brush it off and get ready for the next play. They celebrate with you and they aren’t afraid to argue with the umps.
Oh my goodness, forgive all my baseball analogies, but they make so much sense in my head. I love the sport. It has deep roots in this heart of mine to little league days when Brad and all my schoolmates played just down the street, sunflower seeds and ringpops ever present, and nights in front of the tv with Dad watching the Braves. It’s a family affair. A time to spend with my people. Maybe that’s why I’ve found myself cheering on a bunch of 12 year olds beside a dear friend in the past few weeks – because it’s a gathering of my home team.
I’ve watched these boys rally around each other and have sat amongst their mothers as they heckle bad calls and shout determined encouragement at their sons. I’ve seen them play different positions, seeking out the ones best for them, where they fit and thrive, in the safety of knowing those around them are still on their team and for their greater good. I’m caught up in the wave of cheers and emotions when we strike out the other team late in the game or score another run.
They’re twelve, so what do they know about a team outside this diamond field? Probably not as much as you or I would brag to know, but I think we’d benefit to bring ourselves down a notch and realize that it’s teams in our early years like these that teach us how to have a home team later – a team to rally around you, for you to invest in, and to invest in you in all seasons of life.
In the Church, we like to call this “community” or “koinonia” – the Greek word for ‘fellowship’ used over and over in the New Testament.
Acts 2:42 says, “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to the koinonia,to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.”
They devoted themselves to their people.
My people are varied.
My people are probably 67% in their 30s, the rest scattered in age from 70 to 17.
My people work full-time jobs, study tirelessly for degrees, travel outside the country, raise babies to be leaders, and sometimes push the boundaries of social acceptance.
My people are mothers who wake up every morning to make breakfast for their littles.
My people are fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, cousins, aunts, and uncles, too.
My people seek the Kingdom.
My people don’t mind picking me up when my car’s on the mend or stopping by to bring ginger ale and saltine’s when I’m sick.
My people look out for opportunities for me to grow.
My people make me laugh and celebrate big moments.
My people stay in hard seasons.
My people ask for help.
My people embrace my silliness and teach me to grow out of my immaturities and insecurities.
My people don’t mind staying in and falling asleep mid-movie on a Friday night instead of going out to celebrate.
My people come from everywhere and are everywhere. They don’t all live close, but they are all near, by phone or by drive.
My people let me figure out where I fit best, all the while still playing on my team. They don’t push me out if I want to try pitching instead of first base or if I just need a day in the outfield, but they push me to play my best game.
My people are my home team.
“Everybody has a home team: It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.” Shauna Niequist