Although Julia had shown early evidence of a very, very high intelligence quotient (I.Q), she was unable to complete the easiest of classroom assignments. She was unable to add even the most elementary of mathematics problems, to spell words correctly or read the simplest of stories. Additionally, Julia was a messy girl while at school.
What was especially annoying to just about all of Julia’s teachers was the doodling she did on what work she did do. A picture that looked like a little girl always appeared in the upper right hand corner of her papers. It was not until Julia was a Freshman in high school that a team of psychologists, psychiatrists and teachers were able to pinpoint her learning disability. By analyzing Julia’s pictures, the team was able to determine the meaning of her pictures on her papers. Julia had been drawing self-portraits of herself crying. She was crying for someone to help her.
All around us—in school, at work, in church—are people crying out for help. However, in many cases, their cries for help are not easy to understand. Some people hide their cries behind the criticism of others; others do unusual and disgusting things to get the attention of others; violent acts; still others hide their inferiority by trying to do without friends or boasting about the achievements they have never obtained.
How can we be more sensitive to the pain, fears and inadequacies of the people around us and be more responsive to their needs? One way is to be a better listener, less judgmental, compassionate and a merciful friend. Compassion towards our brothers and sisters who are hurting and need our help is a gift from God. We need God’s help if we are to hear their silent cries, recognize their pain and see the emptiness of their souls. Each time we confront a hurting person, we should invoke God through one of the best prayers—the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226):
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace,
• Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
• Where there is injury, pardon;
• Where there is doubt, faith;
• Where there is darkness, light;
• Where there is sadness, joy.
O Master, grant that I may not so much seek
• To be consoled as to console;
• To be understood as to understand;
• To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life!
Making yourself available as an instrument for the hurting is not only a blessing for others but you will receive one from God Himself, too! It’s His Promise!!!
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Can you imagine what a difference it would make in the world if everyone took on that compassionate heart... the very loving heart of a servant, like Christ's. But we can, if we truly desire to do so, because the Lord is faithful to hear the cries of our hearts... especially when those cries involve "let me have the heart of a servant." Beautifully written, Brother.