Somebody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen
There’s an old spiritual from the 1950's called, “Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen.” Sometimes when we go through challenges, it seems like nobody else can possibly understand what we’re up against. But is that really the case?
Not too long ago, I read a blog post by our , and one of Prayables’ partners posted a comment that it was nice to read the post, since she’d had a bad day. She said that there were no coffee filters at work that morning and the printer wasn’t working. I felt myself starting to smolder.
What? No coffee filters?!? That somehow set me off. How can you call that a bad day? I wish I had such small-scale sorrows!
But wait a minute! There’s no excuse for being judgmental, as if only I know what it is to be enduring hardship. It’s not the coffee filters, or the printer per se, it’s the cumulative effect of everything that constitutes a life. It’s the long hours at work, even if you love what you do. It’s the obligations, the overhead, the inventory, the responsibility of it all.
In a related vein, I’ve only recently come to realize the antipathy I feel for Julia Roberts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not her acting ability I question, it’s my perception that she’s ungrateful. She makes millions of dollars, has a staff, an entourage, and a charmed life, but every time she’s on the promotional circuit for her latest film, she’s got a sour puss on her face. Looks like she’s working at the deli and I’ve just ordered three pounds of lean corned beef (hey there !) Sliced extra thin please. Grumble.
Why do I feel qualified to sit in judgment of someone who does have struggles, who’s under immense pressure, and who is responsible for the livelihoods of hundreds of people who work for her or with her in some way? She kind of has to deliver a hit or a lot of people are let down. So maybe that’s what weighs on her, and maybe she’s also actually human. Perhaps the blogs (like this one) that call her a "prima donna" or say that she’s got a dour expression lead to her actually having a dour expression.
So I’m going to work on letting go before I get to the point of judging someone for seeming to have it easy but not appreciating it. Instead, I’m going to actually be glad that people have smaller scale problems and not big ones and pray for their continued success since they may have a lot more on their shoulders than just a fur shrug on the red carpet. I’ll throw in a prayer for myself so that I’m not so caught up in what others don’t appreciate that I don’t appreciate my own blessings. Maybe somebody does know the trouble I’ve seen – a lot of somebodies do - and maybe it’s time to take the sour puss off my own face, put down the stones I’ve been throwing, and get back into the groove of gratitude.
Now that I've been the recipient of grace,
please give me a gracious spirit.
Remind me that I'm not omniscient
and can't know what life is like for anyone else.
Put me on notice that I'm not a judge on a tribunal
ticking off each little sin and magnifying it.
Tell me that I'm not there when they need comfort or consolation
and I surely have no right to tell others how to live.
But You are all of this, and more, and not just for me.
Let me reflect what's right and true,
refine me as I represent You.
Peace-Filled Families: Part Two
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