I heard something rather thought provoking the other day. You can’t ask the question Why Me? during the bad times, unless you are prepared to ask that same question during the good times as well. How often do we stop to ask Why Me, Lord? when things are rolling along beautifully? We’ve all had those moments for a split second in time when everyone is healthy, everyone is happy, jobs are secure, shelter overhead, food on the table, bills are paid, cars are working and…..things are just plain GOOD! I know that I don’t ask the question then….but I should.
Recently I heard a story, an incredibly tragic story, with not necessarily a happy ending in a traditional sense, but a HOPE-ful ending. It is a story jam packed with Faith, Hope, and Love in the most extreme of examples. It is beyond inspirational. The Spirit of the Divine is threaded throughout every single raw detail of their telling.
Empathy is when you walk yourself around to try to understand and feel from someone else’s perspective. When I got around to their side of the table, I was overwhelmed with empathy for them. I was reminded of the quote by Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird: You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. I could feel a measure of their pain and hurt, not because I had ever experienced anything like that, but rather because of the roles that I, too, have played. Into my roles of being a young wife and mother, I could begin to identify with the magnitude of their story. And in my role as the mother of adult married children, I could further feel compassion for their parents who were helpless bystanders in knowing that keeping their children safe was only an flawed illusion. I didn’t dwell in that empathy space too long before I looked back across toward where I stood in my own perspective and that is when I asked the question, Why Me? Why have I been so Blessed when others have gone through so many trials and tribulations? I have been given SO much to be thankful, yet I find that I still complain about little things that have absolutely no bearing on a fruitful life. When I look at the mental and physical struggles of the people in that story, I can’t believe that I even give a passing thought to some of my worries. I…am…Blessed… beyond measure! I would do well to remember that every second that I live. Why me….indeed?
In my empathetical reverse perspective (new term), I realized that I stand accountable and bear the responsibility to be a faithful steward for the blessings of knowledge, resources, abilities and life experiences that I have been entrusted. My story doesn’t look like theirs, in fact I’ve always called it vanilla, but I believe that it IS part of the bigger story of God’s plan and it too has a Hope-ful purpose. The Spirit of the Divine has also been threaded through my archives and from this day forth I will endeavor to be a grateful purveyor. TREE STAR!
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. ~ Luke 12:28