There have been many times someone would say, they are so weird, or they are always angry, or they are so_______, whatever, you fill in the blank. I always say, you never know what’s really going on with people.
No matter what it looks like on the outside, everyone has some junk going on that you don’t know about. You never know where they are in life. You never know what their financial situations is. You never know what they are grieving. You never know what they are feeling. You never know what family drama they may have going on. You never know what state their marriage is in. Like I said before, everyone’s got some junk going on in their lives. I promise you they do. Their junk may not be as huge as yours, but they do.
Just. Be. Kind.
It may not always be a huge gesture or an in-depth conversation, but even a simple smile or a kind word can go a long way in someone’s life. It can literally make or break their spirit.
There are whole groups of people that hate my husband and me. Mostly his politics, but some hate us personally too. They hate the very people we are and everything we stand for. I’m not telling you this for sympathy or to cause any arguments. We know what we believe and he thinks long and hard and weighs all the consequences and all the people it will affect before he takes a stand for or against an issue. We know what his position in state politics means for our family, and sometimes you see the ugly side of friends and neighbors. That’s the hard part, friends and neighbors. Or for me, since I live in my hometown, it’s people I’ve known my whole life.
About a year ago, one of these groups was mad about an issue and because of the day we live in, it was all over social media. They questioned if we could even be Christians, accused us of taking bribes, being corrupt, passing legislation for personal gain, etc. etc. I usually just close my account for a few weeks or sometimes months and that way at least I don’t have to see or hear it, but this was everywhere. We were in the thick of baseball season, which meant, me all by myself, packing my 6 kids and growing belly, all our baseball stuff, supper (because it gets expensive eating at the ballpark every night!), all the toys to keep the toddler occupied, and the diaper bag etc etc (you get the gist) to whichever ballpark we were playing at that night. I was sitting there waiting for the game to get started when I heard it-a group of people talking about me, my husband, and what horrible people we were. Yes, they said, those exact words. We were horrible people. You can probably imagine how I felt. The thing about it is when a few people hate you, you start to feel like everyone does. That’s kinda where I was at, at this point in life. (Again, don’t feel sorry for me, I’ve hardened over the years, and that is NOT the point of this story!) BUT then, a lady came over and spoke to me. I know her and her family, but I wouldn’t say we are best friends. We didn’t talk long, she asked me a few questions about the baby. We exchanged small talk and then she left. What was so earth shattering about this was because it was her profession that had been so nasty. It was a group of her colleagues that had said those things just minutes earlier. She had NO idea that I was sitting there all alone after a really hard day, trying to fight back tears because someone had just called me a horrible person. She had NO idea that I felt like her entire profession hated and misunderstood my family. She had NO idea that I just needed someone to be kind. But she was. It took NOTHING for her to have a 3 minute conversation with an acquaintance at the ballpark. It takes nothing to be kind ya’ll.
Just. Be. Kind.
My mother died quite unexpectedly when I was 25. It changed me in ways I can’t possible even explain, but one thing it DID do, was make me AWARE. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 11 years since her death is, you just never know what people have going on.
Just. Be. Kind.
I remember a few months after she died, I was at the grocery store, and a lady was really short with me, and I remember thinking, I just wish she knew. I just wish she knew how sad I am, and that I just need someone to be nice to me. I think about that now, and I wonder how many of these opportunities to be gentle with hurting people that I have missed because I was busy or just didn’t care. I’m not always perfect at this, but the last 11 years have taught me that there are a world of hurting people out there that may not always look like it on the outside. Christ is the ultimate comforter, but He can use us! How many times have I missed a chance to be Christ’s hands and feet to someone who needed a “touch” from Him? We have opportunities all around us to make their situation better or worse, sometimes with just a smile, or a hug, or phone call, or maybe a simple conversation with that lady sitting alone at the ballpark.