It was a struggle to write something this week. It’s been busy, sure. But every week (and everyone) is busy – so that’s no excuse.
I think it has been the highs and lows – they confuse me. Society went from mourning another school shooting to wedding mania in a matter of moments. Personally, we had birthday parties, soccer wins and fun family dinners to keep our spirits high. At the same time we coped with the drama caused by a cruel selfish person, maneuvered tough conversations about relationships, and learned of an old friend who died too young.
Is it okay to feel happy and joyous while at the same time experiencing grief, sadness or anger? How do you make sense of the ups and downs?
This is a rhetorical question. I don’t have the answer, which is why it was so difficult to write. But in pondering this I have an observation. So much of what we feel is influenced by the actions of another.
A friend of mine has had a rough weekend; single mom, messy drama in the attempt to co-parent. One night late last week, she walked towards a large trash bin in a nearby parking lot. A man came up to her and berated her for throwing a plastic cup away in HIS trash can! He was cruel and harsh – mean words for a woman coping with a tough life.
We’ve all been there – on both sides of this story. I can be mad at that man on behalf of my friend. But unfortunately, in some other story I have likely been the one reacting too harshly towards someone – unaware and disrespectful of their unique life circumstance. What others feel and experience is influenced by MY behavior!
Do we realize the impact our behavior might have on another human? Do we grasp the pain we might unintentionally cause through one poorly worded sentence? Do we appreciate the great joy one kind word might offer in the right moment?
Our words and actions towards one another – even the smallest things – can create enormous impact in both good and bad ways! This places us in a powerful position in this world! Think of the pain we might create if we are not careful. In turn, think of the great joy we can share if we try – even a little – to be a source of love and peace.
The world is filled with highs and lows, and events outside our control. And that is confusing. Yet we still have this power… the power to choose how we interact with each other. Choose to love!
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11-12