Monday, September 1, 2014

I Don't Want To Grow Up - Beyond Caring

       This is the second post in my 'I Don't Want To Grow Up' series. The first post is entitled, 'I Don't Want To Grow Up - Beyond Dreaming'. 

I don't want to be so "grown up" that I no longer care.

I don't want to stop caring
Because I've put everyone in categorized bubbles
And they don't matter anymore.

       There are the people who "deserve our care" and then the people who "made wrong choices, and got what they deserved" - There are the people who, "Need our compassion", and the people who, "Need to just figure it out for themselves"- sadly, we hear this attitude all the time. We tend to rush in to help those who stumbled, but glare harshly at those who have habitually been walking on the edge of wrong choices (despite being told what would happen) and finally crumble under the weight of what they've done. We scold, and shake our heads, and throw out our words of, "We told you this would happen!" instead of showing compassion. The weight of our judgmental glances tell them that their chances are better out on the road.  

        Where would we be if God hadn't loved us, despite how messed up we are? Where would we be if He had left us to figure things out alone? Where would we be if we had to meet His standards, before He extended grace? Where would we be if our past kept us from finding a new future in Him? So much has been given to us that we've never deserved. We need to extend that same grace to others. 

        That doesn't mean people shouldn't be held accountable for their actions, and that there aren't real consequences for life choices people make. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try to tell people what will happen when we see them walking into sin. It doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to what harmful things people do to themselves and others in the name of being "sensitive". It means... praying for the broken, talking to them, showing them the love of God by our lives and actions, and seeking to genuinely care about them as individuals, even when they aren't very "lovable"...


I don't want to see someone crying
And hurry away
Because I don't have time.

         I don't want to get to the point in life where my agenda becomes more important than caring for others. It takes time to talk to hurting people. It takes time to get to know them, be there for them, and understand why they are hurting. It isn't easy. It isn't even always rewarding. It isn't without cost, or without occasional confusion and pain. It isn't without mistakes, or times that seem impossible. 

           I know I can't be there for everyone. I know that I can't heal the pain. I know that I am not always the friend I should be. I know I can not be someone's strength. I know I can not fix what people crush. I know I don't have all the solutions, or even a handful of them, a lot of times. I know I am not strong enough to fully bear another's heartaches. I know I haven't always been obedient to reaching out when I had the chance. I know there are times I have to step back from a friendship. I know there are days I can't handle trying to be there, and have to take a break. I know I can't do everything... But I do know many things I can do, with God's strength.

        I know I can listen. I know I can show I care. I know I can offer my friendship. I know I can extend forgiveness. I know I can speak truth. I know I can look at things from another point of view and offer ideas. I know I can pray down on my knees and beg for God's healing, peace, and strength for others. I know that I can make a difference in someone's life, if that's what God has for me to do. 

         When it comes down to it, will you take the time to show you care? Will you put aside what is "convenient" to reach out? A lot of times you don't even have to do much, it seems... Pray and be there for people - that's what is needed the most. But like I said, that doesn't mean it's easy... It's being the hands and feet of Jesus. It's showing love to those who often don't know what love really means -  the hope that is bound up in a relationship with Jesus.

I don't want to look at people
And only wonder what they'll give me,
How they'll help me forward,
And if they are worth my time.

         Life is full of people who will either have the means to repay our caring in some way, or who won't.

          There are people who affirm those who love them in their pain, and there are those who react harshly to offered help. There are people who accept love and gentle reproof, and then there are people who appear colder to kindnesses and ignore (or sharply reply to) anything that isn't uplifting and affirming... There are those who seem easier to love, and there are those that are much harder to love.

     I work as a nurse aide in a long term care facility. Not all of my residents are lovable. (Many of them are wonderfully sweet though, and I absolutely love my job.) Some are unkind and demanding and always seem to be complaining... But God calls me to be loving and patient with them too. I don't always have the right attitude, but God has been teaching me again the meaning of caring for those who can and will give you nothing in return.

        As I was thinking about that, these verses came to mind:

Luke 14:12-14
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Matthew 5:46-47
 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 

I don't want to grow out of caring-
Deeply, truly caring-
The type of caring that makes me cry
Though I don't know their name,
Or fully understand their hurt.

           I don't want to stop being empathetic, even though it hurts. I want Him to break my heart 'til it moves my hands and feet. Mmm, I want to have a heart of compassion to those around me, and not become cynical to the brokenness. I want to love others with no half measures - loving them the best I know how, in God's strength.

          God has shown me such perfect love. He teaches me day by day to rest in Him, even when I struggle, and shows me that I am not alone. His grace is enough for me. How can I do any less than seek to love others in even a fraction of the way that He has loved me? He is the reason I can care.

Now my question for you is: How will you show you care?

~Ophelia - Marie


  1. Very timely Lia. Thank you!

    1. You're welcome, Riah. <3 I'm glad it was timely for you.

  2. I absolutely love it and I agree completely!!! :D Definitely words of wisdom and very well written! :)

    1. *Smiles* I'm glad you enjoyed this post, friend. :D 'Tis one I've been working on for quite some time. <3


*Smiles* Comments, anyone? :) I don't like, bite or anything. . .