Little people can sometimes ask big questions. One such question was asked not long ago by a 5-year old boy who was confused by the endless bickering and squabbling between his mother and father.
“Mommy,” he asked, “what do people say when they get married?” “Why, they promise to love and be kind to each other,” the mother said.
The youngster considered this answer and said, “Then, you’re not always married, are you, mommy?”
Not only in our relationships with those of our own household, but in our dealings with those in the world outside, we all too often develop habits of unkindness. Whether we realize what we’ve done or not, the end result is misery.
Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy, love and kindness.