We are all “other people” it seems. You know the feeling – something unsettling, unnerving, down right wrong happens to you or someone you care about, and you think to yourself “This can’t be happening! This kind of stuff happens to other people.” And then the realization hits: I am other people.
There have been huge chunks of time where I have wondered “Why? Why me?” I survived an alcoholic father. I’ve spent time in AlaTeen programs, six weeks in ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics). I’ve been diagnosed and treated for anxiety-depression. I’ve taken the medications and I still take advantage of counselling. Why?
Some of the “why” must be to learn to forgive. One has to practice forgiving. It gets easier the more you practice. Jesus was on to something huge when He said (and I quote loosely here) “Forgiving 7 times is just the start. You have to forgive 70 times 7.” By the time you get to 70×7, forgiving is a way of life. Just as my hope is that God continues for forgive me 700×70… and more.
Practicing forgiving — someday maybe I’ll master it, but I’ve got a ways to go — also teaches compassion. It also reminds me that I am not judge and jury. My task on earth is to love, not judge. Actually, life is a lot easier that way. I can leave the results in the hands of Mother God.
So – what brought on this little treatise? In the past week I’ve been made aware of 2 people who have floundered into a drug addiction. Both from families and communities where you just wouldn’t expect it. Both people I know. Both now walking the road to recovery. And, I find that I have learned something: I can listen and not judge. I know that it’s OK to just be there so that someone doesn’t have to walk through the trials alone. If I am a part of the Body of Christ, then I am called to community and that means that nobody need be alone in the pain. We all suffer in different ways, and mine might be hard just because it’s mine – and yours will be difficult for you, because it’s yours. And we just don’t need to be alone.
And sometimes, that means realizing that “I am other people!”