“God appoints our graces to be nurses to other men's weaknesses.” -Henry Ward BeecherIf we only surround ourselves with like-minded people, we will never change the world. Or, worse yet, we may never change for the better. Because, let's face it, we can ALL do something to become better people.
When I was pregnant with Rebekah, I stuck with an ob/gyn who was rude to my husband and I and refused to agree to our plan of an emergency c-section should Rebekah have difficulty during delivery. There were many issues, but he even said at one point, "I didn't go through all those years of school and my practice to deal with THIS." ('this' was my baby girl who he expected to die and this situation that he perceived as a hopeless waste of time.)
Why did we stick with him? For practical reasons, I was close to full term and we didn't have a lot of options. But the real reason is because I knew that, despite his words, he wouldn't have a choice but to help us when it came time for delivery. I also felt in my heart that we just needed to be there and show our faith and strength to him.
Well Rebekah surprised everyone! When he came to visit us in the hospital a few days after her birth, he looked at Rebekah and said, "You made the right choice." He also told me that if he had another trisomy 18 pregnancy, he will manage it differently. That made it all worth it! And it wasn't the point that Rebekah lived, because we were still very much in a questionable place. It was that we celebrated every moment and, despite planning a funeral and dealing with grieving a lost dream of a "normal" daughter, we were hopeful and loving and forgiving and full of grace.
Had we stormed off and changed our plan, or worse yet been ugly and rude, then this doctor's heart would never would have changed.
Because of his change, I can face disapproving or negative medical staff (or people in general) and give them the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes, I find my view is changed along the way too, and that they really did have my daughter's best interest at heart.
How many people are in the world that have bad attitudes and erroneous views? And maybe all they need is a little grace and forgiveness? And maybe that grace can result in a changed heart? And on the flip side, sometimes listening to opinions and views that differ from our can feed our own passions to do good in the world or remind us that maybe we need to change something about ourselves.
This journey is a tough one. We need to be gentle and forgiving to one another.
“The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God.” -William Bernard Ullanthorne (1806-1889)