John 11:35 Then Jesus wept.
I come across so many people from different walks of life, ages and conditions but when it comes down to it, right down to the person's soul and spirit these things are just labels. Age, health conditions and what has happened to you does change you but they are labels that people can look at and think they know you.
I met an elderly gentleman today who clearly had some form of dementia or health problem. He walks into the bookshop where I work and I have such compassion for this man. In his prime he must've been many great things. Admired and loved by many.
But today he did not feel welcome or loved. His family don't want to travel with him because his condition makes it difficult for them and I could go on a rant about this but I do not understand the circumstances that his family are in but I do find it a little sad.
I just felt so sad for this man, who now needs to deal with something that is out of his control. He is alone but he isn't alone because his faith is still there. In his walk of faith he met Jesus and Jesus is still there.
He quotes scripture about being the light of the world. That light being manifest through us and it being our responsibility to shine that light and be that light to others. I really hope that I was a light to him. That somehow I made his day brighter and happier. Maybe even eased his burden a little but I also pray that today he will have many more happy encounters today. That at the end of this day he will have a smile on his face and not a tear in his eye.
Compassion for others is a good way to live. Look past the exterior things of the life. The illnesses, the age, race, gender, history and look into their eyes. They eyes are the window to the soul. We do not look at a person's eyes enough. We don't really see a person for who they really are.
We can learn so much from each other. There are people out there really hurting and who feel so alone but we look at the exterior of their lives and think that they either have it all together and have many friends or that they are a mess and it is because of their poor choices and it is what they deserve.
Not everyone has it all together. In fact those who do look like they have this life sussed probably are struggling more than most of us to keep it all together and feel like no one really gets them. The person who is a mess and is falling apart and keeps on making the same mistakes may not listen to your advice today or even 10 years from now but one day they will remember your kindness. One day they will understand that you cared enough and didn't give up on them and that your prayers made a difference to them.
For the elderly who have lived full and active lives now slowed down by age and conditions, ask them about their lives. Most of them are willing to tell you what their lives were like when they were younger. How they learned from their mistakes and what they took away from it. How they lived their life for Jesus and if they haven't maybe you can be the one to be the light in their life and give them the hope they have been seeking all their lives.
As the wise Rafiki from the Lion King 1.5 said to Timon, "Look beyond what you can see" Look further, look harder until you really see it and there you will find compassion to develop your compassionate heart.
Pray for someone today that you don't know so well because you are very different from each other and ask God to reveal to you how He sees them. Celebrate that person's life and decide to see others this way too.
Blessings to you all.