Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
I've read that passage a lot thinking about my own life and how I wrestle with trials. But I haven't really thought about it as a mom and as an educator.
When our children and loved ones face trials, we want to jump in and fix things. We don't want to let people face tests and trials. And we definitely don't want to let 'steadfastness have its full effect', allowing people to linger through the healing process.
Nope, we want to distract people from their pain. We want to soothe and numb people from the pain. We want to act on injustices to punish the paingivers. We want to help people run from the pain. We want to get angry with our loved ones about the pain. It's not that we're malicious, we just want people to feel better.
But I think that sometimes cuts short the lessons God wants to teach us. What if we showed compassion for others in their distress? Just being with them, sitting beside them, holding them, and listening with them? What if we didn't rush to fix things, but instead gave the gift of supportive presence? How would that allow God to work in our hearts, as well as the lives of our hurting loved ones?
Now I need to think more about what this enlightment will mean in my life. I'll still be quick to put bandaids on my children's ouchies - ouchies in mind, body and spirit. But I need to work on my heart's response. I need to work on true compassion.