So here’s a story for ya. We had a fish. His name was Finnball. Actually the fish was my youngests but he very quickly forgot it existed and I was the one feeding it. He was a feisty fish but held on for a good two years. A few weeks ago, he was upside down. His time to be with Jesus had come. Thinking he would never know, I prayed Finnball down the toilet and called it a day. Not smooth. A few days ago, Cooper jumped up on the counter to say ‘Hi’ to his friend and well, things went downhill quick. At first, he tried to play cool. That lasted for about 30 seconds and then he lost it. He was a mess till he went to bed, praying to Jesus before he fell asleep to tell Finnball he said ‘Hello.’ My heart is now officially ripped out of my body.
As he was falling asleep next to me with swollen eyes, I began thinking, we are so quick to assume we know how people should or would react to certain situations. Cooper is my super soft heart, emotional kiddo. I assumed by just taking care of the situation myself, he would never know or it would be easier on him. That definitely wasn’t the case. We all walk this life with so much we’ve already wrestled with or fought through. When you read quotes like, “You never know what someone is going through, be kind,” there’s so much truth to it. The battle that we are fighting each day or that others are walking through is not written all over everyone’s face. We have a way of reacting or seeing things differently than the person next to us or even our best friend. There’s no right and wrong so there needs to be more grace, more understanding, more kindness. My other kiddos were quick to want to chuckle at him and I shut that down real fast. This hurt his heart when for them, it was just a fish. We need to step back more and maybe even close our mouths before we decide to judge how someone is trying to fight through life. I know I’ve written about this before but I’m so passionate about it. Battles in life are happening to each individual and for some it might be a fish that died and for others it could be going through a divorce, abuse, depression, loss of a child, a loved one but no words are spoken. Instead they may end up losing it over a comment you said or just the way you looked at them. Pain has a funny way of showing its face at the worst times but if we combat that with compassion, sympathy, and some understanding, we could completely change someone’s life. Ephesians 4:2 says it best, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Side note, this applies also to your own heart. You’ve fought, you’ve cried, you’ve won, you’ve lost, you’ve endured. When you have a day, cover yourself with love, compassion, warmth, grace, understanding because that’s what Jesus is doing for you already. We need to follow in His footsteps.
Don’t worry, another fish was purchased the following morning. His name is Finny and I’m sure my son will feed it for a few days and then forget he’s even there but you know what? Compassion and understanding is what we left him with. No, suck it up! or, you did this! No pointing fingers, just trying to show love. Go out today and show love to not only those you make eye contact with but also the one you see in the mirror.
“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”