Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reflection of the Day

After reading Jean Vanier's books...well, actually, after my FIL started getting worse (he's got Alzheimer's), I've been thinking lately about a situation where your health condition gets so bad that you have to depend on other people to do many or most things. If I ever reach that kind of stage, will I be able to accept it gently? I guess I'll never know until I experience it myself. Anyway, his condition also makes me reflect more about our value as human beings.

After IF, I became so confused about so many things, because IF rocked my world to the core and it made me question so many things about life in general. IF makes me question our worth: what society screams we're worth and what our true worth is in God's eyes. The pressure is sometimes overwhelming and I've seen so many people getting lost in the maze after they lose their jobs, after IF, after being sick.

IF makes me realize how blind I've been all the years before IF started: how I've judged so many people wrongly and how I've said so many wrong things to other people simply because of ignorance. How difficult it is to really understand someone else's situation because more often than not, you only see one part or a few small parts of the equation. How hard it is to actually really answer hypothetical questions because you won't really know for sure about your reaction until you experience it yourself.

How easy it is to say the wrong things to someone when you don't really understand the whole situation, yet you feel so helpless that you just have to say something to the sufferer. How words can cut someone so painfully even when you don't mean it that way. How easy to get defensive, angry, and hurt when you're really hurting inside. Basically speaking, IF opens my eyes even more to how broken we all are and how little we know about anything.

That said, IF has made me want to learn more about human beings, about their personal sufferings, about the many facets of other people's situations. Granted I can't possibly learn them all in a lifetime, but I can start by stopping to think before saying anything to someone who's hurting and researching about it whenever possible.

Let me end this post with Jean Vanier's quote:
As we approach people in pain, they reveal to us our pain and brokenness. We are not an elite. We need help. We need the help of Jesus and of sister and brothers in community; we need to talk to wise, listening, and compassionate hearts who can help us to assume all that is broken within us and to find wholeness. We become free when we accept ourselves as we are, cry out for help, and use wisely all that we are to build peace. (A Rebel for Peace, page 134-5)

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