When you aren’t yourself
I have had a nasty cold this past week and it has been…well…blah! I rarely get sick and don’t like being sick (who does). It is hard for me to enjoy life when I don’t feel well. It is better to get lost in a movie or just to sleep (if you can). I have been blessed with lots of caring family and friends who have offered encouragement and moral support as I have fought this cold.
Whether we are physically sick, emotionally distraught, or mentally worn down, there are times when we just don’t feel like our normal selves. Sometimes it is obvious. I might notice it in one of my children and ask them, “Are you ok?” When they insist that everything is fine I wonder if either I have misperceived or if they just don’t want to talk. You can’t force a child to talk about what is going on. Sometimes it is obvious (a cold) and sometimes it isn’t (they were picked on in school). What is important is offering support and encouragement. When we show love it does not mean that we force people to talk – it just means we give them the love they need. The focus is on their need – not our want.
Sometimes people need space. Sometimes they need rest. Sometimes they need to remember that they are loved and that whatever they are going through will not last forever. Discerning what another needs isn’t easy but it is an important part of showing love. Hopefully – we can all get what we most need (recover what we have lost) in order to get back to being ourselves.
Romans 12:9-13 offers a list of guidelines for God’s people. Many of them have to do with love. I appreciate the way that Eugene Peterson translates vs. 10 in his translation
. “Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.”
In your relationships at home this week be mindful of the needs of others. Put their needs above your wants – try
playing second fiddle
. When someone doesn’t quite seem themselves – for whatever reason – take time to discern what they might need most.
To God be the Glory!