I recently had the pleasure and privilege of speaking at a bleeding disorder conference. Every chance I get to share my story and spread hope and encouragement makes my heart sing. Even though I am using language that is not “churchy,” I feel like the biggest part of my ministry happens through these talks. God uses me to spread his word of love and compassion and I am a grateful messenger.
Before I spoke, I was walking around the meeting area, and in the hallway was a woman who was sitting on a couch with her elbows on her knees and head facing down. I walked past her and immediately felt God nudge me. “Check on her, Beloved.” So I turned around, stood next to her and put my hand gently on her back. “Are you okay? Do you need some Tylenol?” I thought maybe she was having a nasty headache and she looked up at me, a little shocked, and obviously in pain and told me thank you, that she was having a flare up with her pancreas. “It just happens,” she said. I patted her on the back and went to my session.
After my closing keynote presentation, she came up to me and again, thanked me for checking on her. What I thought was not a big deal was apparently an incredible gesture for her. She went on to tell me that only moments before I checked on her in the hallway, another person had been very cruel to her. And those words hurt her soul. I don’t know the entire story, but what was obvious was that she was in physical pain and she told me that she was waiting for a transplant and her pain was no joke. Serious stuff.
My friends, invisible illnesses are all around us. People who look 100% healthy maybe battling an illness that is undetectable to the naked eye. In this woman’s case, on the outside she looked fine, but when I looked into her eyes, I could see the pain, because I can relate to what it’s like to have pain that is not outwardly visible. I saw her. Did it take anything out of my day, before my presentation to simply ask if she was okay? Not at all. It only took a moment.
We never know what kind of battle a person is fighting.
Don’t doubt, just love. Be compassionate. Lend an ear even if you don’t understand their battle. And like my mother used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”
Today I Am Thankful For:
- Afternoon rainshowers
- Cooler temps
- My new standing desk
- Sandwich night
- Friday night high school halftime (I guess to see the game too)!