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Monday, December 22, 2008

Nobody Is Bulletproof

You may look at that title and think to yourself, "duh!" Well, I know it's true, but I realize that there are people in my life who I really think never have big problems. I forget that even those people you think have it all together, sometimes go through serious difficulties themselves.

I just found out recently that a friend of mine, (whose gender, name, location and any other remotely identifying information will be omitted), just lost their long-standing job. I don't know to what degree my friend was stunned by the news, but I sure know it was a good thing I was seated when they told me.

This event was a shocking reality of just how serious things are in the world today. I hear all the statistics, and I've been part of them. But there are some people you just figure are somehow impervious to struggles. It's not because they're fake, simply pretending everything is hunky dory. I know things are not perfect in their lives, or in anyone's for that matter. But for whatever reason, I simply assume that some people are insulated from some of the garbage I have to go through because they're better, or they are living the "American Dream."

Such reminders of how fragile things can be is frightening. None of us are bulletproof. Bad things happen to good people. Even the best of people. I expect such things of my life. I'm a big goober. But our goober quotient sometimes just doesn't have anything to do with it.

This reminder is good for me because it has awakened in me the necessity to pray for those who I think are bulletproof. The fact is, especially these days, we just can't assume that people are immune to extreme difficulties. The fact is, no matter what the economy is like, life can happen in the blink of an eye. Just last week, another friend of mine informed me that their mother, a very dear woman in my life, found a couple of lumps on her breast. She had to wait the better part of the week to get the results from the biopsy. Thankfully, they were benign.

But it was another reminder.

I've had my difficulties. I'm still going through them. Many around me are going through things. The lesson here is that we need to keep in touch with our friends and even people we meet throughout our journey. We need to pay attention to people's stories. Some people you might not expect it from may be going through very difficult times. When you ask, "how are you doing", mean it. Be willing to stop and listen to them just in case. Be willing, yourself, to be honest about the difficulties in your life. I'm learning there is no shame in going through troubles. People are more understanding, and less judgmental than we fear.

We'll get through it...together.


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