People would rather you feel the pain of life than them...unless it's their own children. All of the sudden, you get a stomach ache and start pacing the emergency room floors looking for any way to help that child you have made your entire life. Then everything is different. It makes it hard to fathom that Jesus would take all of that pain on himself, and even more, His Father would watch Him do it, knowing He didn't deserve it. It makes God's love seem a little more believable.
I've learned since being a parent that most people don't pay much attention to you...unless you are loving their child. I've learn as a youth pastor that the parents of the kids you are working with will either forget your name every time they meet you...if they ever will meet you. Or they will love you like you are a part of their family. It all depends on how much they value their children. I've taken teenagers across the state on youth trips without a child's parents even seeing me face to face or speaking to me at all. I've also battled parents over everything their kids are going through and gotten yelled at and blamed. But...I would have always preferred being shouted at and doubted. Then I know they care. I can work with that. For those reading this, if I have pissed you off, but you learned to love me, raise your hand.
I didn't learn this from actually doing the job. While doing the job, this pissed me off and made me a self-righteous prick at times. I learned this the moment my kids started needing someone else to teach them something. I had to learn to trust someone else to be an expert at something. I learned trust this way. I could always "trust" someone else for my own life, because it's me...if I get hurt, I'm an adult. But my kids...I'm gonna need to know a little more information first.
My daughter is in figure skating and needed a coach so she could compete. We asked a friend who's kid competes in the same city and she recommended very highly her daughter's coach. We called her and Aevry started lessons with her. I don't think much about people teaching a talent, because they are usually a dime a dozen. After a few months, we started to notice something different about the coach. She got annoyed with my little girl, but was visibly proud of her when she succeeded; just like we would be as parents. After years of teaching, I trust her coach because she isn't just an awesome coach, but she's and awesome person. She loved my kid. She loves all of the kids. She got married today, so she gets extra attention.
My son works with a baseball coach that can't remember his age when he comes in. He asks his age every time we come in. For years. But....he remembers my son's strengths and weaknesses and gets really pissed when he hears stories of my kid not having the best position at baseball. So, we love him. Don't know many things about him, but he seems to care about our kid, so we care about him. Their actions remind us that people care about others other than themselves.
We had this morning where planes hit our buildings and we were reminded that we all are connected and care about each other. For over a decade, we have learned to hate each other even more. Humans like to separate each other from who we kind of are. So we divide, then divide, then divide. In the end, we are alone. In the end, we only care about who really cares about us, personally. I think this is wrong. We should care about a person because we agree they have blood in their veins and because we agree they are full of these different, but similar emotions that we have about things. They have different memories and viewpoints. This should make us closer to them. But all we seem to see are the differences in viewpoints.
Just because a person sees gay people differently, doesn't mean they see the moon differently. Just because people see any political or humanitarian or social topics different doesn't mean the same sun doesn't also make them squint and hold their hands over their eyes. We are different, but we are really the same. I know this sounds really humanistic and "correct" but I really do think it's true. Love is true. We don't have to agree, but love is ingrained in us. Just let it out.
If we were to care about people even though they aren't directly helping us or our family, we would be a really great country and a really great asset to people that really need some love. Instead, we hate...so much.
But I remember right now this one particular time that in the most terrible place I have been, my little girl gave me a little plastic heart. And that reminded me that there is something much greater than all of this anger and greed and sadness. Sometimes the kids have all of the correct answers. We should listen.
Thanks for reading...Z