“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in orchard-things life affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” (Galatians 5:22-23, MSG)
The early morning after Mom died, I tried to write a tribute about what I’d learned. I thought perhaps we would read it at her service. However, grief was too raw, and I was too tired to formulate my thoughts enough to honor her. I’m sharing a portion of what I wrote a year after her death. Would you join me today in honoring the memory of Mom?
While in her mid-forties, Mom received a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Bi-Polar is a severe medical illness that causes shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. Unlike the usual ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe.
For over twenty years, I watched Mom live with this illness. These verses in Galatians exemplify how she lived her life, despite a difficult diagnosis.
She had a sense of compassion that I have witnessed in very few others. She knew that like Jesus, she was to love people right wherever they were. And she did, even on days when she didn’t love herself.
Mom befriended people who “religious” folks tend to view as outcasts. Isn’t that just the kind of people Jesus drew out and loved? Aren’t we to do the same?
Friend, we need more people like my Mom. These post COVID days aren’t carefree. Many of us are dealing with hard life situations. Take one glance on social media. You see how difficult life can be and ugly people’s words can get.
Would you join me in honoring my Mom by being a light in others’ lives, offering compassion to all you come in contact with? Regardless of whether they agree, look or vote like you. Today, do one intentional act that brings joy into someone else’s life. I’d enjoy hearing about what you did. Please come back and share with me in the comments below.
Father of Compassion, Help me to offer others a heart of compassion. Give me wisdom during these difficult days to direct my energies towards the things that matter to you. I was hoping you could give me the strength to limit my time and reduce my words on social media. Assist me as I attempt to bring holiness to all conversations. In Jesus’ name. Amen.