I was just trying to get out of the car and run James into school and BAM… there I was, flat on my back, looking up at the sky and writhing in pain.
I imagine it happening in a human Bambi sort of way… I fell and slipped on ice.
I quickly tried to pull myself together, half hoping that no one noticed and half hoping that someone did.
Isn’t life like that sometimes?
Usually I just want to just hide the embarrassing and painful stuff.
I don’t want anyone to know my business, my marital struggles, my parenting failures, or any other shortcomings for that matter.
I don’t need anyone’s sympathy.
What good does it do to expose yourself like that anyway?
But when while I was laying there, belly up in a significant pain… I looked around and searched for someone who saw what had happened. I looked for someone to help me get right side up again. I looked for someone who could also be frustrated with the arctic tundra (okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but still).
There was no one around.
Well, that’s a lie. There were lots of people around but they were also busy trying to hustle their kids off before the bell and they hadn’t noticed my not-so-elegant ice-capades.
As embarrassing as it was…
I kinda wanted someone to see me lying there.
Like really see me.
I wanted them to see my anger and frustration.
I wanted them to understand that I was already having a tough day/week/month/winter and this ice was just unnecessary ridiculousness!
Sometimes it feels good to just have someone notice what you are going through…
maybe ask if you are doing alright?
acknowledge your pain?
get angry with you?
maybe even, offer to help you up?
In this case I pulled myself up (literally) and went on with the drop off process.
As I was driving off I couldn’t help but wonder how many times I had missed out on noticing someone’s struggle in the middle of a peruvial crowded parking lot?
How many times had a looked past someone who just needed to be seen?
How many times did I miss an opportunity to reach out to someone but in my hurry and busyness I never even saw them lying there?
Today, I am going to slow down and try to see those that need to be seen.
Partially because I am fairly certain my butt and elbow need some icing, but also because there might be someone in my life that needs a hand or needs someone to curse the wretched ice along side them.
What if we actually took the time to ask our friend or neighbor how they are doing?
What if we reached our a hand and helped them up?
What if the ice in your person’s life looked like cancer? divorce? depression?
(Just a reminder… Cancer, divorce, and depression are not contagious, so don’t make excuses.)
Maybe their thing isn’t huge and obvious… maybe it’s thin, cold, and camouflaged like black ice, whatever it is… I challenge you to give it a try. Reach out a helping hand. Send a card. Write an email. Good golly, you could get real crazy and actually use the phone with your voice and call someone.
9-11 God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (MSG) [emphasis mine]
Excuse me while I go get the ice pack and make a phone call.