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Everybody Has a Story

Everybody has a story and sometimes our actions can make or break a person! This thought has consumed me. It was one of those days where all I wanted to do was spend the day in bed. I felt lousy all day between a cold, Asthma and just extreme exhaustion. Seventeen long years of no break have taken their toll. Single parenting is a day to day process and I struggle to stay on top of everything. I'm pulled in a dozen different directions and asked to help many people but often when we've needed relief there hasn't been anyone. Some days the stress of keeping up with everything is way too much! It was one of those days and feeling lousy just made things worse.

The last few years since my mom died have been difficult. She understood the challenges we faced and stepped in to assist us in many ways. Without her life has become so much harder. She understood. When we ask for support often people are too busy or too stressed. We have been too busy and incredibly stretched for too many years, yet we still help so many people.

Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of Jesus sitting in the the foyer of the church watching people put their tithe and offering into the temple treasury. The wealthy threw in large amounts of money but a widow put in two small copper coins worth only a few cents. "Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

I love this story because Jesus looked beyond the people that He saw. He looked into the stories of their life. He knew their trials and difficulties. Instead of judging them, He loved them. Daily, He ministered to their needs and encouraged them.

Often we are too quick to judge and miss the story beyond what our eyes see. We need to realize this. Maybe then we would understand when people get upset and are tired and can't handle anymore. Sometimes it is just one more thing: lack of support, criticism, judgement, lack of respect, lack of acceptance, unwillingness to help, lack of fitting in that breaks someone who is hanging on by a thin thread. In harshness we may crush them. We truly must be more understanding. May we listen to people's stories so we can understand their thoughts, feelings and actions. Listening and words of encouragement may be the one thing that keeps them going. May we learn to be the feet and hands of Jesus.

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