My friend E. spoke in church today. About braces.
She needed braces as a kid, she wanted braces and was all excited about it till the day came that she actually got those braces. Hey! They hurt! Nobody said it was going to hurt! And not just for that first day, either!Â She said she cried, she told her mom she wanted them off, and you can just picture the rest of the story: being reassured she would have a beautiful smile when it was over, retorting that she didn’t want a beautiful smile, not if she had to go through this no make it stop I don’t want them.
And now? She’s one of the smilingest people I know. Her mom was right.
You know the point she was trying to make about our Father’s wisdom.Â And of course, life puts real teeth into the analogy.
It isn’t always easy. I listened to her while remembering two years ago–remembering my decision to try to find meaning in the experience by praying silently for each person who came through my hospital door and what a vast difference it made in our interactions, even though those doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists and wheelchair pushers and the list goes on and on never knew. But I did. And then I had to live up to the request I’d made on their behalf.
We are meant to learn, to grow, to find ways to serve others better and with more compassion through each experience we have whatever our background, and, best of all, to come out in the end smiling.
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