As I was leaving my chiropractor’s office yesterday the doctor asked me, “So, you’re feeling better?”
“Oh yeah,” I said, “When I came home last night my two youngest kids ran to the door to meet me. We wrestled around on the ground for a few minutes…we had an awesome time.”
Then I paused for maybe half a heartbeat and, starting to tear up, I said, “Not to get all emotional in your office, but I didn’t realize until just now that it’s been almost six weeks since they’ve run to the door to see me. Ever since I got that herniated disc I haven’t been able to play with them, and they kind of just quit being interested in me when I came home. But now Dad is back (no pun intended) and I could see how excited they were to play with me again!”
Oftentimes when things go wrong in our lives, it’s a long, slow decline into pain and suffering. Moments of shock and trauma are thankfully rare; it’s much more common to wake up one day having forgotten how good things used to be. In my story above I had forgotten that my kids and I used to wrestle and laugh together, and I’d only been injured six weeks! I have friends and family who have been hurting a much longer time. Their slide into suffering was so slow that these days they don’t even realize how much they are hurting; they’ve forgotten what “normal” feels like.
How many of us know someone living in an abusive relationship who thinks it’s “normal” to be emotionally or physically abused? How many of us know someone slaving away for an awful boss because he assumes, “That’s the way it is,” or know a homeless woman who thinks she’ll be on the streets forever, for the exact same reason? How many of us know a family member who’s given up the struggle against age and physical illness because the pain has been present for so long?
Do you want to help people remember what “normal” really means, to recognize life when they see it?
Be the loving memory people never forget.
If you know someone in an abusive relationship, be the love that will open her eyes to just how wonderful human companionship is supposed to be!
If you know someone in a job he hates (or someone dying for any job), be the love that helps him re-discover his hopes and dreams, and the purpose he was put here for!
If you know someone in the final stages of life who has given up, be the love that reminds her of all the good things in life, and the hope she can have in the future.
Be the love that becomes someone’s most treasured memory, something they will never forget.