So, I’ve had this on my heart for the past couple days. You just never know what other people are going through/have gone through. I mean, when you meet someone, your first instinct isn’t to ask the person what their deepest, darkest secrets are. It’s not until you really get to know someone that they may open up and share. Have you ever known someone for a little while and think you know most things about them, then learn something about their life that completely blows your mind? I have. It’s weird. It makes you feel like you really don’t know a person. Maybe it makes you have more respect for that person. Maybe some other things about their personality finally make sense to you. Maybe you just can’t wrap your head around it. No matter your reaction, the fact of the matter is, you never know what people have gone through.
Working in the psychiatric unit of the hospital this semester is an example of this. As a society, we tend to judge people who are different, or put them in a category. So, yeah, you’ll see some people diagnosed with schizophrenia in the hospital, but you also get depressed people and a whole variety. As a psych nurse you listen to peoples’ stories. Well, they do more than that obviously, but it’s a huge part of the job. Some of the situations you hear about are absolutely unimaginable. If I were to think about the worst thing that has ever happened to me, it wouldn’t even compare to the lives of some of these people. Even some of the friends I’ve had have surprised me with things that they’ve gone through that I just had no idea. Some people just know how to keep it together. They know how to keep other people out of it. They know how to avoid those touchy subjects. And I’m talking about serious things here, guys. I’m talking about abusive relationships (physical and emotional), rape, friends/family being killed, sibling issues, and family problems. The everyday person you see could be struggling with something you can't even imagine. And he/she is smiling through it. People I have known have opened up to me and I'm just astonished that they have been through so much more than I could've imagined. Their personalities didn't suggest anything to me and I just realized how incredibly blessed/protected I am.
I just think, as Christ followers, we need to be aware of the needs of others. We don’t necessarily need to know what goes on in other people’s lives if they don’t want to share, but we just need to be aware of peoples’ condition. When you ask how someone is, really care about how they are. Really try and understand how they’re feeling. If they answer with the standard, “Good, thanks, how are you?” just stop and prompt them to really tell you how things are going. And, the same goes for you. If someone takes the time to really ask how you are, tell them the truth. I am guilty of answering with the standard reply as well, so I need to work on this too. It's the worst thing when you or someone else believes you cannot go on. Be there for each other. Open up and tell someone if you are struggling. We can't do this alone. We need each other to lean on. If you have Christ, you have him to lean on as well, but we need to be in community with each other. Be aware of what others around you are dealing with. You don't know everybody's story, but we are able to take care of each other if we take the time to find out. Thanks for reading.
"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."