There are hurting people all around us but we don't see them.
It's not that we don't literally 'see' them, it's that they hide away so well within themselves that no one would ever know that they are broken. Is this because of shame; shyness; arrogance; pride; self preservation; or of something else completely; and is the cause of it something we should even care about?
I don't think we can ever know how another person feels.
What we can do is treat our fellow beings with respect and dignity in a manner in which we ourselves would like to be treated. Perhaps in this way, we, at least, will not be guilty of breaking a person down to the level where they feel that they are worth nothing in life and that life is worth nothing to them.
If we can just treat people with empathy and respect, we can prevent so many lives from feeling or becoming lost because as different as we all are, we are all God's children and all of us have a purpose and are someone in His eyes. We don't have to agree with everyone. That is an impossibility. There are people with whom I, personally, vehemently disagree but I do try to not treat them in a disparaging manner. The Bible, that wonderful (still best-selling book after all these years), tells us that even when we are faced with our worst enemy, the way to treat them is with love.
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44-45).
"Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:20-21).
God treats all of us equally and adjures us to do the same. I'm not sure that I have the resolve to do so, yet, if I could just care a little more; if we could just be more respectful, perhaps so many heartaches like this one could be prevented:
Reflections of a Life Lost
It's been months since I was made redundant from a job I loved. It's been months of thinking and praying and trying to understand what I did wrong because, clearly, I must have done something terrible as I was the only one affected and the way it ended was the worst experience of my life.
I've been trying to understand why this has hit me so hard at this point in time. It doesn't make sense. Surely, I should have gone through this pain at the time? Surely by now I should have got over myself? Surely shock can't possibly last this long? Surely I can't have been in denial all this time?
I've been trying to understand why I haven't shed one tear until today and why, quite honestly, I can't now stop crying. This is a very strange phenomenon for me. I'm made of sterner stuff. I rarely cry for anything which affects me directly and, until today, I can't remember when last I did. I do lapse at times when I think of others' hurts and my eyes will leak and overflow a little but not like this; not like this. It's as if the well of water within me is determined to force its way out until its last drop is spent.
I've been thinking back over these months and looking at all the initiatives in which I've been dabbling; because, in truth, 'dabbling' is what it has been. I haven't seriously started to do anything meaningful. Each time I think about actually getting going on a project, my inner core seems to shut it down. It's almost as if I'm trying to sabotage myself because my inner self knows that I'm merely fooling myself into thinking I can actually achieve anything worthwhile.
This is not a good place for me. It needs to end. Somewhere deep inside is the strength I need and with God's help, I'll draw it out.
What happened to the person I used to be? The person I was who honestly never let anything get me down; who stood firm in my resolve and who always did whatever it took to stay on track? The person who was so incredibly strong?
That person appears to be no more.
In place of the me who used to be, is this shell of a person; always smiling, it's true but, beneath the smile, there is a void, a chasm of nothingness.
Is this how it is to be? Is this what I've become? Nothing?
It feels like it.