Me: “Really?! A Starburst?! I think you’re overreacting!”
“Let me see if you’re bleeding.” (In the most sarcastic of tones)
Upon further investigation, I find a hematoma the size of a large marble bulging from her head. Oops…maybe I under reacted! A little ice pack and a big apology from little brother, and all was well. But as I often do, I found a lesson in all this.
Don’t we sometimes do the same when we know someone is in crisis? Now of course, most of us are sympathetic when there is a death or serious illness involved. What kind of monster doesn’t feel empathy and compassion for that? But what if it’s an ache or pain? What if it’s a fight with a spouse? What if it’s a problem at work with a boss or coworker, or the same issue we’ve been hearing for years? Aren’t we tempted to write it off as overreaction? Aren’t our problems much more complaint worthy?
I am guilty of it. I don’t vocalize it, but yes thoughts have crossed my mind and even stopped me from reaching out. But who am I to determine what causes pain in another individual? Who knew a Starburst could do so much damage to my hard headed 12 year old?!
So, let’s listen a little closer to those crying for help. Let’s lend a compassionate ear to someone who is hurting today, even if it seems trivial to us. May we have the eyes and ears of Jesus. Should we really be scrutinizing the gravity of the situation and if deemed minimal, just ignore it? Or should we love the socks off the person, because God wants us to, no matter the breadth or depth of their issue?! Trials and pain are relative. We need to resist the desire to compare ours to theirs, and just be there to listen and lend a hand where necessary. We must love our neighbor as Jesus loves us. We should be listening to the cries of our friends and family, and show them unconditional love. Our assessment of the situation is completely irrelevant when we love as Jesus loves us. If we simply love them through it and are grateful to get our minds off our own pain for a little while, we may just be blessed in the process.
Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.