My 6-month-old has been teething and she’s finally cutting her first tooth. Up until now she’s had some fussy afternoons, but today was completely different. Today she screamed bloody murder in frustration and confusion and cried big crocodile tears. Broken-hearted for my baby, I hurried to administer all of the standard relief tactics but nothing seemed to work fast enough.
I can see now how mommies become so resilient.
Once the Tylenol kicked in and the frozen teething ring was wedged in her mouth, I took a deep breath and just gazed at her for a while. I thought about the pain she was in and how desperately I wanted to relieve it.
I thought about how teething was just the beginning of pain in this life.
And I thought about how much grace we give little people in their discomfort, how much compassion we genuinely feel, and conversely how little we offer one another as adults.
Know what I mean?
I can’t speak for you of course, but at times in my life I’ve totally been guilty of measuring other people’s pain against my own. I’ve judged others thinking to myself they have no clue what real pain is.
How do we become so prideful? Where did we get this expectation for what someone else should be able to handle? I’ve come to the conclusion that our measuring scale is pretty unfair.
We all grow in different ways and on different continuums.
Growing in age is a function of time.
Growing in strength is a function of exercise.
Growing in education is a function of study.
And growing emotionally and spiritually are functions of suffering and overcoming.
If we are kind people, we don’t judge a person in a wheelchair thinking they just aren’t trying hard enough– they should really be running marathons. Of course not. And that person who has a meltdown every time someone looks at her cross-eyed is just at a different place on the continuum than the woman who has overcome abuse, self-pity, and taking everything personally. Let’s extend lavish grace, even to those who seem to overreact.
God’s creation often operates in paradoxes. The thing that seems right often isn’t right at all: pleasure-seeking[i], revenge[ii], the greatest should be the one to serve[iii], the more you give the more you receive[iv], when you are weak then you are strong[v], and empathy (not chastisement) is the best way to help others endure and mature.[vi]
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” –Reverend John Watson
MORE POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
[i] 2 Timothy 3:4
[ii] Romans 12:19
[iii] Matthew 23:11
[iv] Luke 6:38
[v] 2 Corinthians 12:10
[vi] Romans 12:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, & Galatians 6:2-3