And, I know that God has heard my prayer.
I am blessed. I know this. I don't doubt it. Sure, I have "suffered" at different times in my life, but God is faithful. I can push through difficult times and endure suffering because I am confident of God's goodness. I want to be like Paul when he says, "Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little" (Philippians 4:11-12). Contentedness is something I feel I maintain most of the time. My feathers just don't get ruffled about too many things. Traffic jams? No big deal...it's good to slow down sometimes. Ants in my cereal? Just stick it in the fridge...they'll die. Sweating through my clothes for the 6th time in a single day? At least I have a shower with running water.
But, there is one thing that really stirs me up, one thing that really grinds my gears. It makes my blood pressure rise. It makes my palms sweaty. It might even make steam come out of my ears. I get incredibly upset when I see others suffering unjust treatment. It has bothered me for as long as I can remember. As an elementary school student, I remember being confused and upset when teachers treated other students poorly. Teachers tended to like me because I listened and obeyed well, always finished my homework on time and correctly, and was willing to help others. So, I don't ever remember being treated badly by a teacher. I do, however, remember other students being called inappropriate names, having their desks taken away from them (and given a cardboard box to put their schoolbooks and supplies in while they sat on the floor), being accused of cheating without any grounds, and being humiliated in front of their classmates for asking questions.
Those things upset me then. I remember praying for a long time that God would heap other people's pain on me, that I could take it, that they should not have to suffer, that I would still trust Him regardless of what happened to me.
I think that I had hoped that maybe as I grew older, I would find more justice in the world, that my eyes would see more joy and less pain.
Unfortunately, that has not been the case. I do see joy. I see it everyday. I feel it everyday. But, I also encounter injustice. People are still called inappropriate, shameful names. People have their homes ripped away from them. (Check out this link.) People are still accused of things they did not do. People are still publicly humiliated. People still stuffer unjustly. And, it still upsets me. Every. Single. Day.
O, LORD, may I always have eyes to see people as You see them...and a heart to love them as You love them...