Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swapping Bras

Last month our Junior High Youth Group had a program called, "Walk a Mile in My Shoes." It was great. It started out being a bowling event with goofy games, one of them was to bowl using someone else's shoes, another to bowl with shoes on their opposite feet. We wrapped it up with a presentation showing people in all different situations: being homeless, handicapped, poor, or maimed, to try to get the kids to empathize with others who are different from them, but no less worthy of God's love. Junior High can be a tough time - it's easy to judge others who are different. We hoped this program would help them realize that but for the grace of God, they too could be wearing those shoes.

That brings me to swapping bras with someone with cancer. I admit that before I usually shied away from those with cancer, unless I knew them really, really well beforehand. When I'd see them, it was like they were wearing a big "C" on their head, like the Arby's commercial, only it said, "I'm Thinking Cancer." I felt uncomfortable. I didn't want to pry, and thought if I just showed up when they were diagnosed that I might be misconstrued as a false friend, or worse yet, a busybody.

What I have learned is that when people reach out to others, EVEN IF THEY DON'T KNOW THEM REALLY, REALLY WELL, the act is appreciated. It's an acknowledgement that you care. Any person that goes through something of magnitude: a serious illness, divorce, miscarrage, or death in the family rides in the same boat. I certainly don't deserve the support expressed by some of the same ladies I shied away from, but I'm learning, Lord, I'm learning.

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