Pain in My Heart

A forty-three year old doctor, wife and mother of two, lost her battle to cancer.  I didn’t know her but I know her husband, and not all that well, I might add.  When I got the news, I cried as I drove across town.  I was embarrassed that I was so emotional, but I was truly sad.  Sad for him, sad for the kids, sad for the ache that any loving person has in their hearts when they go through such struggles.

Last night as my book study group shared their prayer requests, more than half had to do with dying and illness.  It was the first time in 16-weeks that we had such heavy issues affecting so many of us.

I’ve been thinking about how some people can’t afford medical care.  It took me back to the days when my mom was in the hospital.  My eyes were opened to the fact that some visitors had to use public transportation or walk to get there, others drove but were strained by the parking fee, and some couldn’t afford to eat in the cafeteria.  What about the ones who live too far away to drive and just don’t have the money to make the trip?  I can’t imagine not being able to see my loved one and just sit by their side.  I thought that was bad until I realized that some can’t even get treatment.

I think about the children who may have a cold and could use pain reliever – or have something worse -, but treatment is just not available to them.  Or, what it’s like to be the parent standing by, worrying and feeling inadequate because you can’t provide.  Or maybe a husband of a woman who’s very ill and they simply can’t afford help.  I don’t want to know what it’s like to have a loved one in pain and not be able to get the medical attention and prescription needed.

Some people cheat the system and in essence steal other people’s opportunities for assistance.  People who really need it.

The homeless and impoverished are humans.  They are mothers, daughters, sister, and friends, just like you and me.  Not everyone is created with a heart to minister to them, and that’s okay.  But what saddens me is when their dignity is stolen, they are disrespected and treated like second class citizens.

8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

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Judgment is Contagious

I’ve been guilty of analyzing situations and people.  In other words, I’ve been guilty of judging – many times over.  We’re not born with a judgment button that gets turned out.  We learn to judge by observing our family, friends and those around us. What we see on TV probably helps promote it, too.

Sometimes when judgment is passed, humor is found – at someone else’s expense.  Other times judgment feeds pride because credit is given to self for knowing better and being better than the next.  Judgment can also result in pity or sorrow because the “judge” feels like the other person is missing out on something, being wronged/hurt or too ignorant to even realize what’s going on.

Our judgment is justified because sufficient analysis has been performed; various angles have been considered and scenarios contemplated.  Knowledge gained from personal experiences, books and seminars have been applied.  Obviously we know better than the person we’re judging – or anyone else for that matter.

I know it’s common to judge and have opinions, but I was floored when I heard someone frown upon a friend for electing not to openly share the status of his loved one’s health or his feelings about it.  The “judge” was actually upset that he wasn’t looped in about this personal matter and couldn’t seem to grasp that the decision wasn’t personal.  His friend was simply dealing with things in the best way he knows how and in a way that allows him to live versus remaining stuck in a rut because he was focused on the circumstance he was faced with.

Hanging out with like-minded people, probably means you’re living in the dark.  You may never know you’re guilty of judging and that judging is not okay.  It takes a good, hard look in the mirror to recognize that fault – or a really good friend to point it out.  One way to tell that you’ve appointed yourself “judge” is to consider what’s coming out of your mouth.  If you’re frequently talking about other people and it’s not praise, it’s likely you’ve got judging going on.  If you find yourself irritated by other people, look around for the gavel you’ve been wielding.

Words speak life and death.

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