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St. Paul's Staff Blog

Handle With Care

fragile

I’m sure you’ve heard the following quote.  Some sources attribute it to Plato.  “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  Wise words.

I remember that the quote came to mind the day my husband passed away.  Even though my life had just been ripped apart and I was freaking out and emotionally teetering, I now had all these things I had to do and places I had to go to and I had to do them and go there without falling apart.  On the day of my husband’s death and all through the days before the funeral and the weeks after, I felt like I should have been labeled:  “Fragile. Handle With Care”. 

It wasn’t too long before I realized that the “Fragile. Handle With Care” label could, most assuredly, be stuck to all of us.  We may not all be grieving someone right now but anyone who has lost a loved one can attest to the many “anniversaries” that bring back the painful aching feelings and the tears.  Whether it’s the anniversary of the day your loved one passed away, a wedding anniversary after you’ve lost a spouse, or the loved one’s birthday – they are all days that can be difficult to get through.  Even your own birthday and holidays are no longer the same.  And if you’ve lost more than one family member or friend, the “anniversary dates” that you have to get through each year are multiplied.  The next person you see in the grocery store could be missing someone terribly on an “anniversary” and barely making it through his or her day.  Be kind.

Grief isn’t the only battle being fought.  The person in the car next to you could be missing their spouse who is overseas in the military or worried about a loved one who lives out of town or on their way to radiation or chemotherapy treatments.  The co-worker you might not know very well could be worried about finances or having marital or family problems.  The person in line behind you at the post office could be just plain exhausted because they are working three jobs, are a single parent, or a caregiver for elderly relatives.  The list is endless.  Every single human being you come in to contact with today is struggling to find peace.  Be kind.  (Colossians 3:12)  Because we all are very fragile, that simple kindness that you show can be the boost or encouragement that helps that person make it through their day.  

Have you ever noticed how much of Jesus’s life was spent doing kind things?  The Bible stories of Jesus overflow with acts of kindness.  Jesus knew how fragile those who he met were – the suffering, the undeserving, the hurting.  He loved them and he took the time to be kind.  He handled them with care and it made a difference. 

Because none of us wears a “fragile” label, we need to remember just how hard those hidden stories that each one of us is living can be and to approach each person who we come into contact with as a fragile, breakable, valuable treasure – and handle them with care.

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