tired from work,
wanting to be left alone
to lose himself in his book
in the white-noise silence.
At one stop the doors opened
and into his subway car bounded several young children,
who leaped from seat to seat
and spun around the silver poles in perpetual circles.
When people sin, you should forgive and comfort them, so they won’t give up in despair.
2 Corinthians 2:7 (CEV)
Their mother sat,
ignoring it all,
staring off into space.
The man said something to her,
and she immediately replied:
“I didn’t realize they were bothering you.
I guess I didn’t realize anything.
We just came from my husband’s funeral.”
Instantly, a wave of compassion welled up in the man
for the mother and her fatherless children.
Suddenly, their antics no longer annoyed him;
he was glad they had found
a measure of relief in teasing one another.
And the man stopped reading
and started praying for them.
What if many of the difficult people in my life
are struggling with pain I’m totally unaware of?
What if I reframed my relationship to them,
reframed my understanding of their world?
How different would my feelings be?
How different would my prayers be—
which now I fail to pray?
PRAYER: Teach me how to reframe every difficult situation, Lord, to redeem it.