It's recognizing what really matters....and what doesn't mean a hill of beans in comparison.
I can moan and groan and "poor me" about stuff that feels big to me, but sometimes my eyes are opened to the things others are going through and I feel like I've been punched in the stomach...by reality.
It's at these times that I feel overwhelming compassion and empathy...and shame. Shame for feeling so sorry for myself about such superficial things when others are experiencing real, true crisis, grief and pain.
I want to reach out and hug them, even when they may be strangers. I want to find a way to ease their pain, even when I am miles away. All I can do is pray for their peace and for their comfort, even when I cannot imagine anything could be comforting. I know that prayer is the most powerful thing I can do, and yet sometimes I wish there was something tangible I could do.
Somebody needs to do something...and I know people are. And I will pray for them. You see, I recognize that I cannot be everywhere doing everything. I will pray that others will find the strength and compassion and love to walk beside them. And I will remember to keep my eyes open, to see the opportunities which may be right in front of me to walk beside others in crisis, even though it might be scary or painful or uncomfortable.
One thing the Husband learned when he was a chaplain in a Children's Hospital, one of the things he shared with me about his experience, is that sometimes the best thing you can do is walk beside someone so they know they are not alone.
Because really, my little problems don't matter a hill of beans when another is truly suffering and if I can walk alongside, just be present....maybe then I can do something.