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Without going into great detail about what I have experienced on a board where I was a monitor for quite sometime, I just want to write a little about how cruel we can be to each other.

Maybe something is wrong with me, but I cannot be intentionally cruel to someone. There are many extremely sad situations in life, and one thing I have lived long enough to learn, is that you don’t compare pain with pain, or grief with grief. Every person has their own experiences in life, and deals with things differently. What might absolutely destroy me, might be easier for you to get through, and vice versa. I have always treated each person’s pain this way. I have learned to look at my own this way as well. I may have lost my father and be grieving heavily over that, but you have lost your husband. I know that if I tried to compare our losses, for me the loss of a spouse would far outweigh the loss of my father, but I have learned NOT to make those kinds of comparisons. I can offer you compassion, and you can extend the same to me. The significance of the pain you are experiencing (even though much greater than mine) does not negate that I am also hurting. The commonality is that we have both lost someone we love, and can certainly reach out and embrace each other through a mutual loss of a loved one. (There is plenty of grief in this life to go around.) Why add to someone else’s by belittling it?

There have been times in my life when someone has said, “I don’t know how you do it”, and yet I see a situation that they are going through, and I don’t know how they cope.

But why can’t we all have love, compassion and kindness for each other? One child may have cancer, and another a scraped knee, and yet we don’t ignore the scraped knee because other children have cancer. We realize the seriousness of the cancer, and yet we also recognize the far less significant pain of the scraped knee. We don’t say, “Stop crying Sally. Johnny has cancer.”

In my mind, I picture God compassionate like this also. At times in my life, I have struggled with going to Him over problems that troubled me, but were not as significant as the crisis situations others were facing. I feel I heard Him speak to my heart and say, “If it is of concern to you, it is of concern to me. Don’t try to compare pain, grief, or heartache. I am here for all that you face in life.”

I hope that I can be that kind of person until the day I leave this earth. A person who does not minimize a person’s pain, regardless of how insignificant it may initially seem to me. If they are hurting, I want to have compassion, and love, and kindness.

It seems the longer that I live, the more I am amazed at man’s inhumanity to man. When Jesus walked this earth, he cared about children, prostitutes, fishermen, bereaved people, a woman at a well, with what some would call “insignificant problems”, a man in a tree, a woman who was bleeding, disciples who needed tax money, the blind, the lame, the sick, the dying, etc. He did not classify any needs as insignificant or without merit. I want to be that kind of person to the best of my ability.

When my life is over, I pray that I will have shown compassion and love to people. It takes a lot of energy, sacrifice and love to continue to do so, but it is His example, and one I want to continue to follow, learning daily what that means. God forgive me when I fail miserably, and strengthen me to be your heart extended to others…


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