You may have failed at something but you are not a failure. Only a person who refuses to try is a failure. Get up and try again.
You mave have been victimized but you are a survivor.
You may have made mistakes but you are not a mistake. No one is perfect. Perfection is impossible.
You may have been treated like you don’t matter, but you are important. You just need to find the right group of people who realise it.
You may have lost but you are not a loser. Losing is temporary and you found out something about yourself in the effort.
You may feel insignificant but you are the center of someone’s universe.
You may have tried, but please try again.
You may do whatever you want with the gift of today. Quit waiting for permission to fully live.
There are sacred moments that we easily recognize. The birth of a child, a wedding, a doctor’s notification of a terminal desease, or a man and woman in a passionate embrace are just a few examples of sacred moments.
We instinctively know not to say much. We may be silent but our presence speaks volumes. Our presence says that I am here for you. That your pain and circumstances, whether self inflicted or undeserved, will not cause me to abandon you.I will be here for a you as a witness to your pain, your struggle, your triumphs.
Yet there are sacred moments that we can miss because they make us uncomfortable. There are moments where we desperately look for words to say to fill the deafening crescendo of silence.
Here are just a few.
When an unexpected tragedy befalls some of God’s most passionate and loyal followers.
When someone close to you gives voice to the hidden brokenness and shame that has defined their existence.
When someone relates their full intensity of anger about an unresolved wound and hurt that they cannot resolve alone.
Our instinct is to defend the goodness of God or to suggest to others that if they had enough faith they could just move on. Or to offer some cliche that sounds wise but actually diminishs the severity and complexity of the one who is hurting.
God calls us to recognize these sacred moments, to intently listen, unconditionally love and be fully present as a witness to their suffering.
They will be changed by the interaction, but so will we.
What if instead of avoiding conflict we really intently listened to the other person’s perspective and worked to resolve the conflict?
What if we joyfully celebrated our cultural differences instead of trying to make everyone look and think like ourselves?
What if we assumed that the other person’s motives were well intentioned?
What if we treated everyone we meet, especially those we would naturally avoid or disagree with, as a person gifted and created in the image of God?
What if we took ten extra minutes to listen to someone who is lonely?
What if we shared from our abundance to others who are in great need?
What if we thought less about ourselves and more about others?
What if we spent more time on what we have in common than what divides us?
What if we celebrated the season of Christmas by treating others like Jesus Christ would?
Sometimes the doctor gets sick.
Sometimes the caregiver needs some tender loving care.
Sometimes the encourager gets discouraged.
Sometimes the strongest person you know breaks down.
When this happens they need you to care for them, to lift them up and be their strength.
They probably won’t ask for help. They probably won’t even realize they need it.
Just do for them what they always do for you. That will be more than enough.