Monday, August 26, 2013

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." unknown

Parenting has taught my many lessons...more than I could list in one sitting. LIFE has taught me many lessons, just in the past few months alone. One of my most recent lessons came just more than a week ago. We were out of town attending a funeral for my husband's grandfather who passed after living 94 full, healthy years. We were grateful for his life and example and to have the time with family to remember him.

Over the course of the weekend, my daughter was injured on her face, which required a visit to the ER, some glue and steri-strips (she will be just fine). Her poor little face was bruised and swollen, and at seven years old, she is actually starting to feel self conscious and kept trying to hide her beautiful face when we stopped during our road trip, so that people wouldn't see her injury. She took this picture of herself while we were driving and it seemed to capture exactly how she was feeling.

It pained me to see her feel this way, for a number of reasons. I'm sorry to see her lose her childlike confidence and assurance and see the world as it really can be, ugly and scary at times. Naturally, it initiated a discussion on courage, compassion and overcoming adversity and we cited examples of people who demonstrate all these things while living with permanent conditions in their own realities.

While driving, when I looked into the rear view mirror to check on her, her appearance and obvious wounds tugged at my heart and I felt an overwhelming compassion for her and what she was experiencing. It reminded me, though, that I felt that way because it was an external wound that I could visually see and that often, I don't give the same attention to the wounds I can't see. It occurred to me that everyone has these types of wounds, no matter how accomplished or "pulled together" as they may seem, and I should be more mindful of this in dealing with the people in my life, whether it be family, friends, co-workers or service people at a store. I know God uses all things to instruct us and this was just another example. As she headed off to second grade today, I know this situation will continue to build her character (and mine). I prayed specifically that she would encounter people who would look past the obvious injury, be sensitive to the wound that lies below the surface, and see the wonderful, sweet person she is at her core of her being.

Be mindful. Be intentional. Be KIND, for everyone you meet is fighting their own battles.

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