Friday, October 31, 2008

who would have thought?

who would have thought that by me uncovering my wounds and seeing where i've been broken and hurt and the actions i choose out of that hurt and pain would lead me to see the goodness in others? i've run into a couple of people lately that have demonstrated some behaviour that i would normally think is unacceptable or rude or petty or inappropriate, but now i see through the behavior and recognize that their actions are probably a result of their own pains and wounds.

for example, i watched a teacher the other day roll her eyes and show contempt for young children in the classroom that were upset, or acting out, or not listening. and at first, i was wary that somehow her actions would be directed towards lucy and was therefore afraid that lucy would receive the eye-rolling, or the humph-hawing if she acted out, or got upset or didn't listen right away. so, my first reaction was to make sure lucy didn't do any of those things. then, i sorted through what i was seeing and realized - even a perfect angel would have somehow warranted her not-so-perfect-teacher reaction because it isn't about the children, it's about her.

maybe she rolls her eyes because someone was intolerant of her. maybe she doesn't extend grace to children because grace wasn't extended to her. maybe she shows contempt for them in the same way she shows contempt for herself. i found myself analyzing what it could be that causes her behavior, and then i stopped myself short of figuring it out. it doesn't matter what it was...it only matters that she too has been wounded - and her wounds are causing her to respond to others in the same way that she has been responded to and in the same way she responds to herself. by seeing that her actions were out of a place of hurt - not arrogance, or a better-than-you attitude, i was able to let her actions - even those directed to my own daughter - be tolerated as a way of grace.

knowing that my less-than-perfect actions come from a place of empty and pain, and not out of a place of arrogance or better-than-you attitude, i'm able to extend grace and mercy to those who offend me, upset me, irk me, or otherwise. uncovering my own pain has led me to be more tolerable of the actions that others take as a result of theirs.

k.

1 comment:

noelle said...

I love this post. I love this idea. I truly think that is one of the most important reasons that we uncover our pain. Just so we can see someone else's pain even though it may be disguised as something else. Then we are able to look at that person with a love and compassion, embracing their brokenness with them. Just as Jesus took on our flesh to really feel our pain, we can have empathy for another once we begin to expose our own wounds.