Brown fingers curled over the edge of the car door, a window hidden below. The wind rushed by picking up the black as night strands in the midday heat. Her chin rested with pensive eyes above. Buildings, streets, trees and city-bustle zoomed by the girl seated next to her caregiver.
“Why are those people sleeping on the street?” the girl said.
They were on the way back from the doctor’s office, this girl and the director of the orphanage where she lives. A simple explanation was given stating that the people curled up on the pavement had no homes.
“I feel bad for the people who have no home,” the girl said.
Let’s back up a little and look at the facts of this girl’s life: at five years old her parents disowned her, abused, abandoned, homeless, she was given to our care, now has a bed of her own, and is growing up in an orphanage. Yet, she feels for the less fortunate.
Therefore she feels for the less fortunate.
How is it that a tiny orphan girl can see past the facts of her life and care for another human? I imagine most think she has it pretty rough. We probably feel bad for her, just as she felt for those sleeping on the street.
That general opinion of orphan life is a little secret we try to keep from them.
We don’t feel sorry for the children in our care here at our orphanage. Are we heartless? Quite the opposite. We acknowledge the hardship. We help to heal the wounds. We pray and hope for a better future. We forgive the past.
That being done we do not foster a sense of self-pity.
Invite pity and the children will not be strengthened. Cultivate pity and we blind them from seeing goodness around them. Self-pity left to fester breeds a cynic.
Helen Keller said it this way, “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.”
Did Mordecai pity Esther? Could it be that you were born for such a time as this?
Imagine if this man had taught Esther the habit of self-pity. Rather than rehearsing her hard knocks he bolstered her faltering confidence and she rose to the challenge.
Did Miriam pity Moses? Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?
Miriam might have been crying at home had she not held to a sliver of hope for the life of her brother. The hope of this child gave Moses a chance to live and fulfill his destiny.
Did self-pity ever bring you to a good place? Really?
I acknowledge that you may be in a hard spot right now. Your life may have been defined by difficulty until now. Can you hear me today sitting next to you asking you to choose a different future? Can you curl your fingers over the car door and take a peak around you?
Be encouraged today by Esther, Moses and the little Bolivian girl to see beyond your suffering. Choose to not succumb to feeling sorry for yourself. Let the pain be a window into the lives of others around you. Feel for them. Be a voice for them. In finding this voice you will drown out the debilitating moans and groans of self-pity.Leave a Comment