People and Sadness

The other day my dad jokingly called me a, "road warrior." Between Christmas, New Years, new car, baby showers, and car problems, I've been on the road a lot. We were in Michigan this weekend, and I'm going back again next weekend.

When I travel, I wonder a lot about the people I see along the way. The friendly old lady at McDonalds, the sour-looking gas station attendant who perked up and smiled when she saw Isaiah, the strong-looking white haired old farmer who wanted a coffee refill; all these people have stories (most of them much longer than mine) and backgrounds and things they think about or are frustrated with. It makes me sad that I cannot talk to them, or help them with their frustrations and hurts, or even make their day all that much better.

I guess it highlights my preference for deep, thorough, complete ways of dealing with problems. I would much rather be a big help to one person than of passing help to ten, though it makes me sad that I cannot help the ten in a deep way too.

I think, when we come to these sorts of realizations about ourselves, it is very hard to make wise use of them. Is it a problem I should fix? Is it unhealthy for me? Does it hurt me in a good way? Would it be better for me to try to change my characteristics or find ways to accept them?

Though I do not know all the answers, I am deeply grateful that God designed the church to make use of every individual strengths and gift. And though it hurts me, I like the deep sadness that comes from seeing people who are hurting. It motivates me, deepens me, and hopefully causes me to better love those I can affect. When sadness moves us closer to Christ likeness, perhaps it is a sadness we need to be more comfortable with.