THE REALITY OF MANY
One minute the sun is shining.
You’re smiling as you sing along to your favorite iTunes.
It’s a perfect Saturday morning.
The next minute you’re getting a call from your dad, asking to be taken to emergency.
And everything changes.
One week turns into two, and then three. For some people this scenario goes on for months or even years. Hospitals. Doctors. Sickness.
You feel as if you are living in a dream. Emotional and physical fatigue take control of your normal routine. You can’t sleep at night and you can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed in the morning.
You leave your loved one in the evening and hold your breath the next day, waiting to hear from them, trying not to think the worst. And then you do it all over again.
You go through the day to day motions, not sure how you even managed. Not only do you find yourself wondering about the distant future, you wonder about tomorrow.
You wonder about an hour from now.
Sadly, this is the horrible reality of life for many.
This is the person next to us in line at the store. This is the lady that quietly comes to church but sits alone. This is the cashier that takes our money with a tired smile. This is the waitress that takes our order with heavy shoulders. This is our brother. This is our sister.
This is someone who needs us.
Petty little things that disrupt our daily routine do not compare to the heartache others are quietly facing. We get angry over the long lines at the store. We lose our patience with the cashier for taking so long. We snap at the waitress who got our order wrong. We don’t get out of our seat to welcome that lady sitting all alone.
Too often life revolves around “me.” We don’t open our eyes to those hurting all around us. We don’t look for opportunities to encourage those we speak to, because we are too busy focusing on ourself.
And all along that lady standing next to you is wondering if her daddy will see tomorrow. That wife is wondering if she will get to see another anniversary with her husband. That mom is wondering if her child will see another birthday.
Don’t wait for your own crisis to recognize this. Something I found myself guilty of as I walked down the hospital corridor day after day. As I looked into the rooms of patients that had been there for months and into the tired, heartbroken eyes of loved ones.
Look for opportunities to share a kind word, a smile, a meal, a hug. Offer to sit with a loved one who’s been sick far too long. Pick up groceries or run errands for a tired care giver.
Look into the eyes of that cashier, that waitress, that person next to you in line, that lady sitting all alone.
Look right past yourself and into their eyes. Truly see them. Then do your best to give them a little bit of that Saturday sunshine back again.