“Happy are they who bear their share of the world’s pain: In the long run they will know more happiness than those who avoid it.”
Dear God, this is a quote from a quote, and I’m not sure it’s something that Jesus really said (maybe it’s a slant on a beatitude), but it makes sense. I’ve described it to others as allowing myself to touch other people’s pain.
Back in 2003 when I first prayed to you about getting out of my bubble and being available to others in need, I didn’t realize how easy and simple my theology was. Everything was much more black and white. I was able to judge others and their decisions pretty easily. If they made decisions and had priorities that were different than mine then they were wrong because my life experience and knowledge were good enough for me to make that evaluation. But then I started to reach out. I started to work understand that there were a lot of people out there who come at life through a completely different lens and set of experiences than I do. I started to make room in my worldview for people who were different from me.
Father, now my danger is in judging those who don’t do this and reach out—for disapproving of the narrow-minded. Help me love everyone and to continue to reach out into uncomfortable areas. I certainly haven’t figured it all out, but I guess the good news is that I know that I’m still lacking.
In Jesus’ name I pray,