The Way They See It

She called it a cool breeze.
He called it a harsh wind.
She was lying in the sun.
He was running in the rain.
They were both right.

And yet they both shook their heads in disgust at the other.
How can she be so naive?
How can he be so negative?

It's simple.
When we aren't in the same place, we don't see it the same way.

It's all about perspective.
I often wish I could share the perspective of those I love.

I wish I could know, really know, what it's like and how it feels to wear my husband's white coat as he plods through 25 days straight at work, constantly chasing and never catching up.

I wish I could know, really know, what my friend means and how she feels when she says she doesn't--she just can't--believe anymore.

I wish I could go there, all of me, to the place my sister got lost, and sit with her there for a while in her postpartum despondency. To keep her company in the dark until the worst is over. And to not obsess over where the light switch might be.

I wish I could feel, like it was my own heart in my throat, when my son chokes back tears and gives up on what seems to me like the smallest and silliest task. He's done it before. Why can't he do it now? I want to understand how overwhelmed he must feel instead of fixating on my frustration.

It's not that I want to feel their pain because I don't have enough of my own. I just want to understand, to be in the same place long enough to say, "Oh, I see it too!". Because I love them. Because I want to share in life where they are living it, to share their perspective. So they aren't so lonely. So we're not so far apart.

I'm stubborn and strong willed and selfish enough that I haven't the slightest worry of actually losing myself in the pursuit of another perspective. I don't worry about being a doormat so much as I worry about being on the other side of the door, unavailable, unyielding, without empathy.

So I sit here in the cool breeze and harsh wind, and I pray for grace, the kind so freely poured on me by the One who is able to perfectly empathize with my weakness. I ask for extra helpings of grace to be heaped upon my plate, and for the wisdom not to hoard it.

I want to gather up the grace in my arms like a clean load of laundry, piled so high I can barely see beyond it. And I want to spread it out and sort through it, and divide it among the people I love. So that even when I can't see life the same way they do, I can be there, on the right side of the door, with something to offer.

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