3/09/2009

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.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

The comment is thoughtful and helpful. I people watch once in a while, sometimes I do think about their stories and lives. It is saddening especially to see children being brought up in a dark place. I think truthfully we do need to be wise about who we should help and how.