What if we could see….

As life continues to role along each day is full of new questions and lessons to learn. This one is one that has been spinning around in my head for awhile now.

WARNING: THIS POST IS NOT G RATED, PARENTS PLEASE READ FIRST !!!!

Picture a 5 year old boy sitting in a room, an adult comes in and greets him; the child physically turns his back to the adult and behaves like there is no one there.

At the age of 5 a child is capable of at least mumbling a ‘Hello’ as a bare minimum. How would you correct this child???

What if I told you the 5 year old child was sitting in a hospital bed, in isolation, receiving a hefty dose of chemotherapy and the adult was a clown. Would your expectations change??? Is it okay?? Our clown says it’s okay. I still want him to be polite.

One day Joel’s treatment will end, his hair will grow back but he will still have scars. He may still walk funny and have speech issues as well as a vision issue, not to mention the countless side effects from treatment we have been warned about. The difference is he will no longer have the telltale bald head that says cancer patient. People will look at him and have expectations that he may or may not live up to, but will they have the understanding of all he has and is going through?

Just as his bald little head announces to the world some of what he is going through, what if we were all labelled? Ever meet someone and later heard some details of their life and thought ‘Oh, I wish I had known that!?’ Why do we think like that; would you have treated them differently?

What if we all wore labels… alcoholic… rape victim… abandoned by parents… abused… divorced… addict… broken home???? Would you have more compassion??? Would you behave any different??

If we had labels maybe some people would cross the street when they saw us coming, because they don’t want to get messed up in that.

Dave and I have talked about this and while there are positives and negatives to walking around with a label the reality is we don’t. Some of us wear our scars out in the open for all to see. Others cover them and would be happier if no one ever knew what they had been through. Hopefully, we won’t let are scars define us. Hopefully we grow, and heal, and instead of carrying one of the above labels, we carry in our hearts words like survivor, over-comer, courageous etc.

I some times think you all most think where is she going this time??? Honestly, it is something that has been mulling around in my mind for a little while. I am not pointing the finger at anyone… I have seen all sorts of things in the last few months. Behavior that I might have frowned upon inwardly as unacceptable, I look at with a sympathetic eye, as I know these children have been poked, told ‘no’ and treated harshly by life in the process of fighting this disease.

Where I have been challenged is that when I see behavior that may seem unacceptable, the truth is in most of those cases I know very little about that individual’s journey. Of course, I am familiar with the verse;

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. – Matthew 7:1

…and I have tried to live by that, yet with these thoughts I have had to admit that in the past I have failed more times then I would like to admit. Thankfully, as I mentioned in the beginning, that there are always lessons to be learned. What can we do to not be guilty of falling into the trap of being the one doing the judging?? Colossians 3:12 has the answer!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

I know my thoughts on this could be better organized but it has been something that has been on my mind. I want to protect Joel from the stares, or shaking heads; I want people to know all he has been through and see how brave and strong he is. I may not be able to do that but what I can do is be the person who is clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience to the people I meet. With God’s help I can be that person and not the one that arrogantly passes judgment.

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