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Posts Tagged ‘#dountoothers’

I stood there, unable to move my eyes from what was happening in front of me.

She wet the facecloth with warm water, then, ever so gently dabbed his forehead, his cheeks, chin, nose, mouth and eyes. With the tenderest of care of care, her hands guided the dampened cloth, slowly, gingerly over his face. It was as if I was watching the work of a master … no,

it was as if I was watching her wipe the face of her own father.

The expert, compassionate act I viewed stopped me where I was standing, for I had entered a time and place of holiness, beauty and honor.

In my seventy-six hours of final vigil with my dad, this was one of the most tender moments … and it was performed by a stranger, a nurse, paid to do a task, but who took it beyond job description, she performed an act of tenderness as I have never witnessed before. And I will forever be changed because of it.

The tenderness and compassion with which she worked … the respect and dignity that she blessed my comatose father with also blessed me. I was treated to an act of a master at her job, one who did more than was expected of her.

I was reminded of the story of the death of Lazarus as I watched this beautiful kindness.

Lazarus had died, already in the tomb for four days. Jesus said he was going to “wake him” from his death sleep.

When Jesus (and the disciples) got there, he saw Mary and Martha weeping, filled with sorrow over the loss of their brother.

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Jesus wept.
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!””
(John 11:33-36)

This is a similar picture of tenderness and compassion. Jesus knew that he would raise the dead Lazarus from the grave. But, his tears were not over Lazarus’ death, they were tears of compassion for the sorrow and heartache that Mary and Martha were experiencing. He wept with empathy, responding with love and gentleness.

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There’s barely yet time to have made any mistakes.

The new year has arrived in the midst of festive partiers, snoring grampas, stormy seas, soft fallen snow …

It has arrived. With it comes the temptation to make plans and promises, vows and verdicts, restorations and resolutions.

We make lists, and choose a word, and make dedications and say prayers … all in the act of making promises for this new year.

What if we just start with today,
followed by tomorrow,
each day vowing to
live the opportunities
that we are given?

What if we get to know the name of our daily barista, cashier, janitor or garbage man, our neighbour? and say it when we speak to them.

What if, rather than rant on social network about how the government treats refugees, veterans, women, homeless … we roll up our sleeves and do what we want the government to do?

What if, rather than complain about our jobs, we look our co-workers, our boss in the eye and say I am so thankful for you, for this place to earn my living?

What if, rather than complain about how little is done around the house by our kids, our spouse, we look them in the eyes and say thanks when we catch them doing something?

What if, rather than complain about men, women, millennial, seniors or children, we just treat all people as we would like to be treated?

What if we just live this year with one goal, a one-item list, and re-live it each day of the year, as each day provides us opportunities to fulfill it?

“In everything,
treat others as you would want them to treat you”
Matthew 7:12

There can be no greater goal, no better rule, than that which is gold.

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matthew

There is a trend in our society, that has been making me wonder lately.

The trend is all of the respect yourself advice. Let me give you a couple of examples:

“respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy”

“respect yourself enough to say “I deserve peace” and walk away from people or things that prevent you from attaining it”

Basically, the messages tend to be (my words) “if I am not getting what I want from you, I will erase you from my life”

Every time I read one of these (faux) pearls of wisdom, my mind goes to situations, seasons and people who stuck with me when I was that person.

that person who was selfish

that person who treated another poorly

that person who didn’t make the effort to call, email or contact

that person who took more than they gave

that person who should have been walked away from

You see, we are all that person at times. We all have seasons of selfishness, distraction, ignorance, and pride. We all have been mean, unthinking and unappreciative.

I am not saying we should be a doormat or allow ourselves to be abused … no way. What I am saying is that, maybe, the loudest message today is we deserve only good from others.

The further I go in my life, the more I look back at the ways my grandparents did life.

I remember times when a certain neighbour, fellow church member or relative would do or say something disrespectful to my grandmother. She would shake her head … and move on with her day. The next time she would see them, she approached them with the grace of a blank slate … and usually that was the end of the situation.

You see she respected herself enough to not dwell on those incidents. She also understood the wisdom of the ages, the golden rule of life, that you treat others as you would like them to treat you.

And, at least in my life, I am so thankful for those who treated me with such grace as to treat me as they would desire for me to treat them.

 

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Some days are rays of sunshine, success and sweetness.

Then there are the days of darkness, discouragement and drudgery.

Recently I walked through a day of the later with a friend. From the moment I saw her coming my way, I could see defeat in her walk, her pasted smile, and the invisible, yet so visible weight that she carried across her shoulders.

I could not rectify, solve or improve the situations in her life that day. And I felt helpless.

We all have those days, weeks or even years, when we have lost our confidence, our hope. Sometimes these days are born out of events or emotions that are beyond our control.

Since we all have and do experience life this way at times, what if we applied empathy to the situation? What if, rather than try to fix the difficulty in another’s life, we simply sat in with them, then started to fill them with what is true?

What if we simply told them how much we appreciate them? express the strengths we see in them? tell them that they are loved?

In essence, what if we filled their empty cup with understanding, truth and love?

Isn’t that what we would hope when we are in the depths of despair?

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you,
do also to them”
Matthew 7:12

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