‘You Need Anything?’
“You need anything?” For two years, five months, that’s been the constant refrain around The Stream offices. “You need anything?”
If I had a dime for every time I heard that from our Editor-in-Chief John Melton last week alone I could buy a tank of gas. “You need anything?”
You want to know what a servant’s heart sounds like? It sounds like John Melton.
John’s leaving us. Leaving LIFE Outreach, where he has served for 17 years, for a new season in sunny Florida. We’d say we’re dreadfully sorry he’s leaving, but that would be out of utter selfishness. We rejoice for his fresh life ahead.
No Matter How Tired, Always Looking Out for Us
See, being editor-in-chief of The Stream is no easy task. When you have a staff that could fit in a phone booth (“What’s a phone booth, Mommy?”), charged with the mission of covering a 24/7 world that’s gone mad, it can be brutal.
Imagine riding a ferocious, bucking, spinning beast that never stops, and never stops needing to be fed … as you oversee a staff that’s also aboard that beast, doing whatever you can to make sure they don’t fall off. To reach down and pick them up when they do. While shielding them from incoming fire. While remodeling the beast’s stall. While making sure we don’t feed anything to the beast which can cause it to keel over.
Even on your “day off,” the beast is still sniffling and snarling and salivating and spinning.
The toll can be grueling. Yet, no matter how worn and battered and exhausted and sick and burdened and busy, there’d be John, leaning on my doorway or on the cubicles of my colleagues. “You need anything?”
A Three-Word Encapsulation of Matthew 11
I’ve learned no greater office lesson on the Christian life than John and those three words.
Really. In the day-to-day living, can you think of anything more Christ-like than seeking to serve the needs of those who cross your path? A radar sweep of the needs of those around you? The unspoken needs?
It’s easy enough to step up when someone’s obviously in need. But to check in and say “Is there a burden I can lift for you?” That says “I see you, I care about you, and want to love on you.” It’s a practical fulfilment of the commandment to love one another, and a quick encapsulation of Matthew 11:28-30:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
God, through his gentle and humble servant John, has been a “great help in times of stress” (Psalm 46:1) at The Stream. Even when we didn’t realize how much stress. For that matter, as an amazing manager, John has been a “great help” in keeping stress from us.
As servant leaders are we to both lift burdens from those we serve … and help keep burdens from them?
A Personal Inspiration
Sure, John’s impact on The Stream has been immeasurable. But was also immediately impactful to me. An inspiration. For example, I soon found myself asking my wife and others, “You need anything?” What a heart opener. Lord, may I maintain that mindset!
To live that way is to abide in love.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.
It shows up in your doorway and asks “You need anything?”
Yeah, John. We need something. We need more people like you. We need to be more like you.
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, chief barista for The Brew and co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl at GETTR, Gab, Parler, and now at TRUTH Social.