I chose “awareness” as my word for the year. Man, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The more-than-coincidental timing of my cataract surgery helped. I can see clouds in more detail…and I had no idea they were so exquisite. I find myself whispering “wow” a lot.
But choosing that word has helped me see below the surface of things too. When I drive by a tired or troubled-looking person at a bus stop, I wonder about their back story. I try to see them.
“The suffering person’s pain and poverty is visible and extroverted; mine is invisible and interior, yet just as real. The two sympathies and compassion connect and become one world. I think that’s why Jesus said we have to recognize Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters. It was for our redemption, our liberation, our healing—not merely to “help” others and put a check on our spiritual resume. Rather, when we see it over there, (we) become less judgmental. I can’t look down on a person receiving welfare when I realize I’m receiving God’s welfare. It all becomes one truth; the inner and the outer reflect one another.
As compassion and sympathy flow from us to any person marginalized for whatever reason, wounds are bandaged—both theirs and ours. We’ll never bandage them all, nor do we need to, but we do need to get close to the wounds.” ~ Richard Rohr
I think shielding ourselves from the wounds of the world makes us callous, unaware. But seeing people and practicing the presence of their wounds helps us practice the presence of God.
Yesterday I met a young woman who’s raising her severely autistic daughter. This is her life, forever. They dance to the soft Disney tunes we sometimes play in the kids’ corner of the library where I work. I can’t fix her pain, but I can keep playing the music.
Information on my books:
A Pocketful of Seeds A Pocketful of Seeds: When We Sow, Life Happens: Johnson, Debbie: 9781940269993: Amazon.com: Books
The Journey: A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament The Journey: A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament: Johnson, Debbie: 9781645594383: Amazon.com: Books
Thriving! Thriving!: Johnson, Debbie: 9798536377918: Amazon.com: Books