Most People Are Barely Hanging On

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I’ll be honest with you, there are moments when my heart is so heavy. There are many times when I find myself fighting back tears. I mean, yes, I have my own issues and problems that I am dealing with, as we all do, but I am really talking more about feeling compassion and empathy for others. I don’t know if it is an age thing or because I am choosing to slow down and listen to other people more.

I want to try, really try, to have eyes like Jesus. To see people the way He sees them. The hurting, the tired, the forgotten, the needy, the scared, the overwhelmed, the anxious, the pained and the lost.

Struggles are real. People hurt. This broken world tips sharply on its axis, making us all dizzy from the pain… Dare I say that anyone who says they don’t suffer is lying to you? Or to him or herself?

As a child I used to wish I could have the super power of reading peoples minds. I thought it would be cool to know what they were thinking…a great party trick. The decades have slipped past and although I have never been able to read minds, I have gotten better at reading hearts. (Thank you, Jesus.)

*A student who anxiously tells me, “I hope my grandfather makes it to mine and my brother’s graduation. I told him he has too, but I just don’t know. If he doesn’t, I will be so sad.”

*Aging parents with hard diagnoses, having to live with something they never asked for. Grown children realizing that time stops for no one, including their parents, and that particular knowledge is difficult.

*The young adult who finds himself in a place of his own making…realizing it is not where he really wants to be. Each day the work to change is hard and he is tired.

*The young woman who constantly wonders if she is good enough?

*The new parents who are outwardly excited, but inwardly terrified at the realization of being mom and dad, and doing it “right”.

*The man whose job is on the line, and he feels he is too old to start over.

*The woman who is divorced, raising her kids and working hard to provide.

*The children who make the poor choices.

*The babies that are caught in the middle.

*The friend who cries in the shower at night because life is overwhelming, but smiles during the day.

*Prayers during surgeries.

*Crying over the death of loved ones.

My prayer is to have the eyes and the heart of Jesus for others. To meet people where they are at. To hold a hand…to hold a heart. To sometimes whisper words of comfort, or have a shoulder to cry on. To talk to them, or just be quiet and listen. Help where I can, and stand back when necessary. I don’t always know the right thing to do but, I am trying….. Thank you, Jesus.

When the Lord <Jesus> saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” Luke 7:13

Seeing the people, He <Jesus> felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

When He <Jesus> went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

…and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him! John 11:34-38 <after His friend, Lazarus, had died>

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One <Jesus> who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

Be Jesus, With Skin On…

Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food ...

I’m still not feeling 100% back to my normal self. I really detest being sick. It gets in the way of so much! Today finds me wearing my black, yoga pants and a favorite turquoise colored T-shirt. This ensemble does nothing for me, really…..but, it is comfortable. Isn’t that what we all want when we’re not feeling our best?

Sometimes we might feel better with some chicken noodle soup, HGTV and a box of tissues for our stuffy noses. Other times it is not that easy. There are times in life when what we have to go through is hard, rough, or painful. Comfort is difficult to see, much less, feel. We find ourselves searching in vain for what can make the hurts of life, better.

And for some…the road can be rough, and the journey a test of endurance.

Too tired to see, and too exhausted to take another step…. she stops. And waits in the darkness. For someone. For anyone. To care.

Recently, I read the quote by Henry David Thoreau….”The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”  Something haunts me about that line. It always has. How many people live their lives in that way?

God didn’t create us to be alone……and that is good. Sometimes we go through things in life, and at the time, those things are difficult. The problems seem to loom large and one wonders if they will ever be over with? Will there ever be a “normal” again? And then, the only thing that is really needed and wanted is someone to hold your hand. Wipe a tear. Give a hug. Be present.

Be that person for someone.

Be Jesus, with skin on.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV


So Many Times, I Am A Brick

Pile of bricks.

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If you noticed my post from yesterday, you saw that I was frustrated and angry over losing my hard work. I was not enjoying my lap top. At all.

I look back at the incident and have to laugh. My post from yesterday was going to be on perspective. Isn’t that funny? I thought I could write something worthwhile on perspective, and when I lost my post to cyberspace… I lost my temper. Not a very good perspective, huh?

I have a feeling I am not the only one that has those type of moments.

I wish I had it all together. Oh, how I wish! But…I don’t. I admit it.

I am trying to work on perspective. Two steps forward and one step back. That is the way it always seems to work out. Life is all about the lessons, isn’t it? What does God want me to learn today? Am I malleable in the Potter’s hand? Or am I stubborn and hard like a brick? Can he gently smooth  my rough edges, or does He need to hammer away at me, until I soften?

Sigh. So many times I am a brick.

I am so grateful that God is patient with me. He is compassionate to me and forgives me, my human frailties.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new EVERY morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23


Who Gets To Choose?

The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...

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Out of sight. Out of mind.

This news story is tragic and it also scares me. This is a current story that is happening to a family in Canada, our neighbor’s to the north.

The parents are asking to take their terminally ill baby home, to die. They know he will eventually die…they are not fighting that. They just want him to die at home, and not in some sterile, impersonal hospital.

The courts got involved, and said that the breathing tube must be removed at the hospital and he will die there. I suppose the decision is part of Canada’s health care system.

I have a real problem with this. There does not appear to be any compassion in this decision. The little boy is just another tough decision to make. The humanity is lost. Are they removing his tube, and letting him die because it is too expensive to keep him alive? Why does the government get to make that decision? Who are they, to play God?

(One of the family members)”I believe when the medical world doesn’t understand a situation, they just want to get rid of it,” Samar said. “That’s exactly what’s happening.”



Seeing With Different Eyes

“Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” — The Golden Rule

“Whatever you have not done for the least of these, you have not done it unto me.”—Jesus

Kindness begets kindness.

And the greatest of these is love…..

It’s easy to love the lovable. I smile at the lady at the grocery store. I wave at the man who drives his truck down our road. I chat with my friends. People that look an act like me…people that love me back.

God calls me to more than that. So many times there is no real effort on my part to step out of my comfort zone. Sure, I like to think I am a good person. That I go the extra mile for people. But do I? Really?  If I am completely honest with myself, I have to admit that no, I don’t. It’s difficult. It could be messy at best…and painful at worst. I don’t have the time for this. But, that would be a lie. I always make time for what is important to me.

When most people think of prejudice, I believe they think of skin color. But, really there is so much more to prejudice then that. Honestly, skin color is not even on my radar map. That particular thing is not something that I, personally,  have any issue with. And that is the truth. But that is not all there is.

Do I have preconceived notions (prejudices) about the unmarried woman with five kids, all by different fathers? Do I believe Jesus loves her any less than He loves me? What about the young man dressed all in black who looks scary? Did Christ die in his place? Or the man who claims there is no God? Who is angry because his child has to say “one nation under God” at school? Or the woman who buries herself in buying  her “things” because she is empty inside?  And lately, what about the people who disagree with me on politics? How do I treat these people? Do I love them with Christ’s love? Or do I show my prejudice? I can’t deal with “these” people. They are a mess. I don’t want to get “dirty”.  I don’t care what they think. They’re wrong……..and with that, my own prejudice echoes back to me. And it isn’t pretty.

Yesterday I was convicted about my attitude….about how I need to change my thinking. The lady with five kids? Maybe she is looking for love in all the wrong places, because she’s never known the love of her Heavenly Father? Maybe the boy dressed in black is, in his own way, desperately trying to make a statement that he is HERE. “I’m not invisible. Look at me! Please SEE me.” The atheist who is fighting against God is a man on a sinking ship…and the One who can rescue him is the One he fights against,  the wealthy woman with all the things in her closet might be the same woman who looks in the mirror and never feels worthy enough….because she looks at herself with the world’s eyes, and not with the eyes of her Heavenly Father, who sees her potential, and one for whom He died.

We all live in a fallen world. Life is not easy. There are people that need a friend. A mentor. A confidant. Someone who will share the burden with them. Someone who will look past the facade to see the person. Someone who will take the time to build relationships….and step out of her comfort zone.

Jesus looked on people with compassion. He was never afraid to get dirty. He talked with the highest scholars of his day as well as the shunned of society. He wasn’t afraid of tax collectors. Or lepers. Or the disabled. He loved the unlovable. The prostitutes. The possessed. The lonely.

My prayer needs to be, “Lord, help me to see others as you see them. Allow me to be your hands and feet. Love them through me. Amen.”