I have been mulling over my OneWord post for a little while now. The truth is, I knew what my word should be right away (I know when God talks to me because I usually don’t like what He’s saying), but I haven’t quite figured out what to say about it. I guess maybe I should just start writing.
This year, I chose the word Care.
For me, grieving has mostly been waves of pain and numbness, pain and numbness. There are other feelings in there, like sadness, contentment, anxiety and even joy, but I feel like “pain” describes the negative portions of the grief and “numbness” describes most of the rest of my time.
If you want the ugly truth, it’s hard to care about anybody else’s stuff when your stuff is always worse.
These last six months, “studying” the reactions of others who are grieving has taught me that comparing the good or bad situations in life is absolutely worthless, and will just lead to bitterness. I have yet to read a blog post or have a conversation with someone who is content with their life and also comparing it to someone else’s.
So, I try my best not to do that. But sometimes, when a friend is complaining about every little thing or things at work are in upheaval when they need not be, I look around at the drama others are creating and have to bite my tongue to keep from screaming the word “CANCER!”
How can they be complaining about this when their brother didn’t just die? How can they be worried about this when there are realities that are so much scarier?
So, I have to shut down a little. Stop comparing. Stop caring.
Which works for me. I can be apathetic. It keeps me from being angry. It keeps me from being bitter that my “bad” is so much worse than somebody else’s “bad.” And to be honest, caring takes energy I simply don’t have sometimes.
Except for the fact that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
The least of these are talking about their inconsequential ailments, or wasting my time with busywork projects, or vaguebooking, or always finding the negative in things. The least of these need a favor when I’m exhausted, and the least of these are just plain BUGGING ME.
So, this year I will focus on caring.
Break my heart for what breaks yours.
I will listen and empathize when I don’t feel like it.
I will care enough about people to put them above myself when I want to roll my eyes.
I will put effort into projects that I believe don’t deserve the energy.
I will do for the least of these what I would do in a second for the One who created a place for my brother.