An acquaintance of mine who was very much disliked by the general population recently came into some very serious and very unfortunate health concerns.
I will agree: She was mean. She was rude. She was offensive. She was arrogant. She could even be cruel. Even before the accident, even before anything changed. I did have mixed feelings for her.
I know what its like to feel like an outsider, I know what its like to feel excluded. Oh, how the tables have turned! One day it just dawned on me, I did a mental double take after a small confrontation, “wait a second…” I felt like I was back in high school except I was the popular girl this time.
After a crazy chain of events, major health issues that I’m not going to get into (it’s unbelievably devastating). The rumours instantly start:
“It’s self inflicted.”
“Some drugs she must have done caused it”
“She’s milking it”
“It’s karma, [insert heartless laughter here]”
I even heard a selfish soul say the words, “Good, she deserves it.”
I don’t know if I can explain it, but in the midst of her misfortune my opinion of her drastically changed. I feel genuine and sincere sympathy. It’s like I have completely forgotten all of the bad and only remember the unfortunate. It’s like the unfortunate events have completely erased the fact that she used to be so cruel.
I even get defensive when she’s brought up, like a nurturing parental protectiveness. Which is crazy considering we weren’t close. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen her, and I know that there is no way that someone deserves what she got. Maybe it’s because I feel guilty for my feelings of distaste before. Maybe it’s because the now ironically popular girl doesn’t want to abandon a minion.
More than that I think I’m learning what Jesus feels like when He looks at me. I can be mean, I can be cruel sometimes. But when I am in pain, or suffering He just wants to make me feel better. He experiences genuine and sincere sympathy and holds no hard feelings.