Home > God, honesty, life, love > Compassion, Listening and Awareness

Compassion, Listening and Awareness

listen to: timeless.

A lot of things have been running through my head lately. Things I’ve experienced, things I’ve been through, hardships, good memories and bad, everything you can imagine.

While driving to Lowes and back from Lowes buying paint supplies for our unfinished basement (which we are finally finishing) I got to thinking these things again… and how I handle it.

I’m one when I go through hard things, I withdraw – from everything. I just go hide away for awhile for a few hours, or a few days… or even a few weeks. When there has been so much rapid change all at once, I freak out. This has happened frequently to me when I least expect it and has happened in the recent past (pretty much being thrown into the unknown and living in the unknown for months now).

When I drive, I like to watch people. My town is famous for traffic – morning traffic, late-afternoon traffic and evening traffic. If you catch an in between time, you’re golden. Anyhow, I intentionally glance at those behind me, driving past me on the left and sometimes unintentionally glare. I wonder things like, “I wonder what they’re thinking at this moment” or, “I really wonder if they’re having a good or bad day…” or something of that nature. Then, I glance in the rear view mirror and look at myself. I wonder what people see when they look at me. Someone who is going through a lot needing just a moment of your time and listening ear, or someone who has it all together or… well, there are endless possibilities. I just wonder, though… what I look like when I walk into Lowes alone thinking all of these thoughts of rapid change, wishing I didn’t naturally withdraw, etc. I wonder.

…and if I’m like this – just someone who needs a listening ear once in awhile – and I’m a 5 foot 10 inch dark-haired girl with a camera strapped around her neck most of the time and slip on ballerina-cut shoes with a scarf in her hair… I guess I don’t really look like the “type” who needs “help.”

Maybe this is why I wonder so much about what the guy in the drive-thru window is thinking when he gives me my food and barely looks me in the eye adding, “Mild or hot sauce?” I don’t know. Just something to think about. I think the people we least expect are the people who need something the most. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t help those who are in apparent need, but we also need to try and look past the facade of those who appear to have it all together.

I find this to happen a lot in church. I’m not talking about one particular church, just the church in general (and God be with the church). But seriously, I hear too often mentoring the youth that I do, “I can’t say what I really feel because well, I’m the elder’s daughter.” This shouldn’t be so. People are people. We need each other.

I hate hearing/having the pressure of this “identity” we seem to invisibly have and if we let down that “identity” (that either we or others have given us) something bad will happen. Someone will talk about us (even more than we are now) or just change their view of us. The church should be one of the most safe places for anyone and everyone – and even if it’s unintentional, we glare sometimes at those around us wondering their thoughts… wondering if they could be going through something similar to us, wondering if maybe, just maybe, they would listen. Can we please become more of a listening, accepting people? Please?

I’ve also figured out today that I love working with youth. I thrive in it, even though it can be crazy and hard – but so rewarding. I’m striving to become a listening, accepting person – and I’m still far from where I want to be. I love those conversations in the car for an hour in my driveway, or on the back steps of an apartment building, or even in a witness interrogation room. No matter where you are, you are demanded (especially with youth) to be real. Up front they know I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll help them find the answers.

All I have, really, is a compassionate heart wanting to be that person who helped me through depression, who helped me through abuse, who listened when I called at 3 in the morning or on their work lunch break. I want to be that person who, when I drove to their house at midnight and knocked on their door to stay on their couch, they opened their home and their arms to me. I want to be that person. I am more than thankful having gone through what I’ve gone through. It has made me a better person today – a person who is more aware and sensitive… because I was the girl who they would least expect.

Categories: God, honesty, life, love
  1. Deanna
    July 27, 2007 at 8:58 PM

    I think you are amazing

  2. Deanna
    July 27, 2007 at 8:58 PM

    And very beautiful.

  3. July 28, 2007 at 3:00 PM

    wow ! u figured out so many things 😀

  4. hellolove
    July 28, 2007 at 9:04 PM

    you have inspired me to create a blog of my own.

  5. July 30, 2007 at 2:09 AM

    Impressive…most impressive.


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