I was thinking a little today about a conversation I had with my physiotherapist a while back. He asked if people drove me crazy with all their whining and little problems. I understood what he meant but the reality is that mostly I comprehend that the molehills made into mountains are what brings people meaning. Today’s Psalm is 95 — if today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts. I am practicing not hardening my heart. Some times that grumpy attitude does irritate me and it takes me a few days to let it go.
I wonder if the angels who intervene on our behalf laugh at our prayers. I am grateful that they do not harden their hearts to our perceived needs. My prayer list grows ever longer. The brother of a friend who has a brain tumour, the young child of a friend who has been a blessing to me who also has a brain tumour, an older friend who is struggling, my father whose illness is not yet stable, my mother who has issues of her own, a young woman working the streets who is a drug addict, a friend who is struggling with severe depression, and so many other issues that are heartbreaking. Yes, the trivial pieces of other people’s lives make me pause and hope that they are never given more because they seem unable to handle such a little upset. However the truth of the matter is we do not really know what the other person is going through.
Today I prayed the Luminous Mysteries for the child of my friend who was celebrating her birthday and wondered how she was managing her illness and treatment. As I went through each mystery, I had visions of healing Light permeating her…us….at the Baptism of Christ, at the Eucharist, at Adoration, at the Transfiguration. The rosary came to me late in life. I never really appreciated it until a few years back. However, it does allow us, as the Psalm recommends to kneel before the Lord our Maker and worship. I felt that today. I am glad that I did not shut my heart to this particular prayer practice.
I pray that I may not lose patience when people gripe about things that are not of significance in my eyes. We really should not compare our sorrows. In a recent phone conversation, the person on the other end began to cry, overcome with emotion, all the while apologizing for what seemed to be nothing compared to my cross. I wanted to reach through the phone and hug that person, so distraught. Somehow God used me to break open a mystery with that person. I believed we were standing on sacred ground. I pray that God will work in that person to restore them to wholeness. I have said it before and I will say it again. We are all broken. I would not have guessed that this person had been carrying so much pain around. Most of us that broken do not lay down the mask long enough for anyone else to glimpse the inner destruction.
In our brokenness we can harden our hearts and remain shattered or we can work through the pain to the other side. Each of us must make that choice ourselves. Time and again I have seen people remain in the same uncomfortable but known pattern….myself included, until I figure out that I need to change something in order for a different ending. I refuse to harden my heart. I place my trust in Love, even when I am disappointed, frustrated, irritated, and out of patience. I may stumble but I would rather pick myself up and say that is not quite the way I want to go and decide again that Goodness still rules the universe. I do not know any other way to do it. I do not like to be cynical and negative. I believe in Hope. I know Love wins. Those who look at the glass with only a bit of water in it and say it is gonna spill anyway are not the people I admire in life. I cannot only hang out with the half-full people though. I have to learn to love the half-empty and embrace the ones who pour out the contents with disregard. I cannot harden my heart.
My physiotherapist is a phenomenal human being. I know that he understands that I am operating under a very different perspective lately. I am by no means perfect but I do hope that when my heart closes even briefly to someone in a perceived need that I might rethink what I am called to do. If the angels can do it, then I should at least try.
What do you do when someone else’s molehill is presented as a mountain?
How do you keep your heart open and malleable, not hard?
Lord, teach me to meet each one where they are–even if their issues seem small and manageable compared to mine. May my words be encouraging even when I am too tired to feel compassionate. May my angels accept my prayers with delight and shed Light on each one. Amen.