A monthly column from church member Ruth Jones. Ruth is a retired elementary school teacher; is a member of our Chancel choir, and participates in the Card Ministry of the Care Ministry Team.
“The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing that you do not know
where he is from, yet he has opened my eyes.” John 31
Lent presents an invitation to open our eyes and examine our faith. It helps us realize that how we see something makes all the difference.
There is a TV commercial that promotes a new series based on social conduct. A woman watches a large van parking in a handicap space. The woman loudly and rudely claims, “I don’t see your handicap sticker!” The van’s rear door opens and a severely disabled teenager is wheeled down a ramp.
I read a story about people on a train asking a man to control his three yelling, rambunctious children. Then man had been sitting as though in a trance, letting the children “have at it.” He came out of his stupor and apologized. “We’ve just come from the hospital where their mother, my wife, died a few hours ago. I don’t know what to do, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”
Compassion calls for a second look to correct our blind side.
Life has a lot to teach us and it doesn’t come with a set of instructions. We have to figure out how to be human in the world that we’ve been born into. We need to make sense out of being on earth.
Many times we hear the term, “I don’t know where they’re coming from!” That’s the time to pause and reflect. Take “hover mothers” for example. Their children live in the land of perfect and the world must bow to their needs first, with complete disregard to any other child.
I’ve known several of these moms and done my share of giggling at the “deer in the headlight” look when teachers saw these mothers coming.
After my retirement from teaching I was cared for by one of these “hover” women in a medical emergency. She was a nurse beyond kind. Her compassion shone in her eyes and her voice was patient and sweet. I remembered the day she took her child out of the public school system to be home schooled: her anger and frustration as she slammed the door behind her. I regretted not having expressed my empathy for her in her agitation. I wasn’t feeling well enough to tell her this and also asking about her child as she cared for me. I regret that too.
I guess in all my rambling here, I’m trying to say, as the song goes…“put a little love in your heart.” Trust God to show you the way and treat people as His children, just like you are. That, and “do onto others….”
Help me Lord to look beyond the surface of what annoys me, and to be part of your constant grace and comfort. Amen.
Our Care Ministry has Four Care Ministry Teams
Are you or someone you know in need? If so, please contact Pastor Bob Faulhaber at 860.295.0432
or Care Ministries Coordinator, Edi Dole at 860.267.8543.
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.