Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's cold....but you can make it warmer!

The other day I had to go out in the cold harsh Chicago winter... okay so it wasn't as cold as it is today (wind chills of -21), but it was still cold! As always, I find it interesting to how people respond to me. Since I use crutches, people know something is "wrong". Yet, since I've used them for almost 8 years now, I've learned a few tricks to getting around.
The responses can be broken into 3 categories: 
1. Some people want to go out of their way to help me.
2. Others stare as I maneuver around boxes and displays left in the middle of aisles.
3. And then others.... just shake their heads and shout a "don't worry you won't have to use them for much longer".

I find it interesting that the people most ready to help me, are the ones struggling themselves. They are either older or have a few kids in tow. They reach out to help, because they understand.

The people who stare, are often younger or middle aged. From their looks, I often wonder if they are thinking, "what if that was me?". When I see someone staring, I smile and tell them to have a great day! They usually quickly look away or run down the next aisle.

Now the ones who shout, "you won't have to use them for much longer". (I wonder what they know that my doctors and I don't.) But, I can take that comment as a compliment! I have learned to maneuver so well on my crutches, people think that I'm almost "healed" and ready to discard them. That means in the 8 years of using them, I've "MASTERED CRUTCHES"!! Wonder if there is an award or honor for that??!!

Why would someone shout something when they have no idea if it's true? It's simple. They mean well. None of us want anyone to be in pain or struggle. We can't imagine someone having to use crutches or canes for more than a few weeks, or maybe a couple of months. Crutches are associated with "short term" injuries. The people who tell me that it's almost time to get rid of the crutches are trying to encourage me. They want me to know that there is an end in sight. Even if for me, the crutches are long term, they want to offer hope.

Hope. Sharing hope will warm a heart....
if it's not false hope!
We can offer real hope, not some false hope
of getting rid of crutches.
We have eternal hope in God.
God loves us and provides eternal life. 
That is real hope!

Yes, it's cold outside, but you can make it warmer for someone else. Don't just shout "God loves you!" Put that truth into action! If you see someone who needs help, don't stare, or give advise..... just help. You may see a person struggling to open a door. Or a person trying to find a pen, or pick up something they dropped. Whatever, the situation, be aware of others around you and make the effort to offer a helping hand.
Offering aid to someone will warm your heart and believe me it will warm the heart of the person you help. It only takes a moment to offer a helping hand, but the warmth you generate will remain throughout the coldest day.

Creating a positive day is not always about you. More often then not, it's about reaching out to others and putting others first. You can make your day more positive by making the day positive for someone else. Your actions speak louder than words.... let others see that God loves them.... show them He cares.... it's easy....just be helpful and kind.

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