We’re in spring cleaning on steroids mode around these parts. It’s been like opening a time capsule as we’ve sorted through boxes in an attempt to finally get fully ‘moved in’ and organized (5 years later…) After 11 years of chaotic schedules, sickness, major home repairs, and too much busy, we decided 2015 is going to be the year we get caught up and settled in. We know the foundation has to be strong before moving into the new season of building.
Although they’re not as obvious as the boxes cluttering up the house, I have many folders of images cluttering up my computers. In order to make way for future new, I started the process of cleaning out and organizing the old in my electronic closet.
Today I came across the fabulous family in the image below. I had the honor of photographing them in the fall of 2011. On that cool October day, they had no clue what was waiting for them in the future: At the end of February 2014, the mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
As I glanced through their images again, I thought about how this family has publicly traversed this season of life with an attitude of victory. If you scroll through their social media feeds, you don’t see posts of despair but instead of being more than a conqueror. It would be easy to dismiss their journey as being ‘easy’ based on the fact they didn’t seem to struggle as much as others might appear to.
I don’t talk regularly to this couple and only know the public story but I’m sure they have had moments of discouragement. I’m sure in the past year there have been periods of wrestling with God and having to fight to stop the trails of ‘what ifs’ in their minds. They are still humans with emotions and although at times your head can be standing in faith believing that God is faithful, your heart can be hurting at the same time.
The saying ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ exists because it’s usually true. If something/someone isn’t making noise it/they aren’t usually given as much attention. But it doesn’t mean the attention is any less necessary.
It’s easy to spot the obvious. The posts on FB whining and complaining about life tend to get a lot of comments. The ‘poor-me-ers’ often get the attention they are seeking.
But what about the single mom who is working her tail off to provide for her three kids who chooses to put a smile on her face and rejoice in her life regardless of the circumstances? What about the co-worker who seems to have it all together but is secretly dying inside because his wife is battling a serious health condition and he doesn’t know how to help her? What about the person who is so lonely he/she resorts to drastic situations such as alcoholism or even prostitution to fill the void?
How often do we hear about a tragic scenario that costs a person his/her life (or quality of life) and think ‘wow, we had no idea’…but then look back with our 20/20 hindsight and see all the signs that had been previously missed?
God, give us the sensitivity to your Spirit to allow us to see not only the squeaky wheel ‘down and out-ers’ but the non-squeaky ‘up and out-ers’. May we not get so wrapped up in our own circumstances that we miss your promptings to ‘entertain angels’ in strangers we pass on the street. Show us the world around us through your eyes. Give us your heart for people.
May we be constantly looking for how to bless those around us regardless of if they appear to need it or not. We all need it. We all have hurts and struggles and are getting through this life as best as we know how. We can all use more encouragement all the time.
How different would this world be if we all woke up in the morning with the question ‘Who can I bless and encourage today?’ I challenge you to make it a part of your daily routine.