No one holds a monopoly on hardship, and yet people love to guilt others our of feeling badly over something by telling them how “someone always has it worse.”
Eat the food on your plate because there’s starving kids in Africa.
Don’t complain about your kids bugging you because there’s people without kids who’d love to be bugged by their own.
Don’t complain about your spouse because single people are longing for one.
Enjoy your sleepless nights with your newborn because at least you have one.
At least you know you can get pregnant… At least you have one kid already… At least you weren’t very far along… At least you’re still young…
There’s always some way to diminish the grief and hardship someone else is going through. It’s easy to look at someone’s experience from the outside and judge the way they’re dealing with it.
But here’s the thing: just because someone else might have it worse doesn’t mean your suffering is invalid, and it certainly doesn’t mean you are any less worthy of healing, compassion, and love.
Why do we put a price tag on compassion? Why do we feel that a person must reach a certain pinnacle of suffering before they are worthy of our love?
Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
He did not say, “Come unto me as long as your suffering meets these criteria for being horrible enough and I’ll give you rest as long as someone else doesn’t need it more.”
He does not put stipulations on how much hardship we must experience before we come to find reset in Him.
He just says to simply come.
No matter what. No strings attached. We know He saves our souls that way, and gives us eternal life no matter how great or small our sins are. The giving of His healing and compassion for our hardships is no different. His grace is sufficient for us, and there’s more than enough to go around! He is the author of peace and love, and unlike humans, is not stingy with the way He cares for even what we would consider the smallest of needs.
He doesn’t care if you are tired because you are the mother of ten children, or because you are the mother of one. He knows you’re just tired.
He doesn’t care if your longing for a spouse ended at 22 or lasted till 65. He knows that the pain of longing and loneliness was there and to you, it mattered.
He doesn’t tell you to just be happy with the babies you have living. He knows you desperately miss the ones that aren’t.
He sees our pain and suffering, no matter how misunderstood it is by others.
It is not our job to tell our fellow humans that they have no right to healing, love, and compassion because we have deemed their hardship not hard enough. It is not up to us to withhold kindness because we can’t understand why someone can’t just get over it.
You know what is our job? To share Christ. To show His love to the world. To be light and love and point others to the cross where they can find healing and to hold their hands while doing so.
It’s not that hard you guys.
Don’t be a jerk. Don’t minimize others’ pain. Be compassionate even when you don’t understand. Understand that you don’t have to understand to be compassionate. Don’t add more to someone’s burden by dismissing it. You don’t know why this is hard for them, so just be kind.
Love as Christ loves you.