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  • Kerri S. Wilson


My kids say I have an imaginary bubble I retreat to in order to protect my personal space. My son likes to move in close to me and poke his finger at me like he's popping my bubble.

My kids are right; I do have a bubble. I like my personal space, and when someone moves in too closely, I tend to back away in an attempt to protect my personal space.

I'm an introvert, and introverts find social experiences to be emotionally and physically exhausting. Though I work hard to remain friendly and social whenever I'm with other people, the bigger the crowd the more I want to retreat. The longer the social experience lasts, the more exhausted I feel. When I start to feel too crowded or overstimulated, I'll laughingly say to whomever I'm with, "I want my bubble back."

Jesus didn't have a bubble. Jesus was pressed often by the crowds who followed him, but He didn't back away to protect His personal space. Though He did take time to retreat and rest, there is no indication that He ever left the crowds exhausted. He invited the people to come in close. He even reached out and touched people who were deemed untouchable.

Jesus said in John 7:37-38, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water,'" (ESV).

This scripture indicates to me that when I drink of the water Jesus offers, this same water is supposed to flow out of me. From this I surmise this water is also supposed to flow with purpose; it is supposed to flow to others. If this is true, then how will it flow from me to others if I am in a bubble?

Yes, I'm an introvert, and I'm not sure my personality is supposed to change since God made me the way I am. But I do think my purpose includes being connected to others. Therefore, I feel inclined to resolve my obvious conflict between my bubble and flowing water.

Though it proves awkward for me at times, with His help I am getting better at leaving my bubble. I feel pulled to touch Him and drink. I also feel pulled to touch others—to crowd in close to them to offer this living water that has quinched my thirst. I think this is His purpose for all of us. I think He is pulling all of us to drink then offer.

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