IF my brand-new husband was torn away from me serving our country in the military (like a dear sweet friend whom i miss and love dearly).
IF my husband of a few years was called to duty serving our country and leaving me and his two babies under 2 behind (like my fairly new, sweet friend from church) all-the-while i struggle through a surprise 1st trimester for #3.
IF my child had a life-threatening heart problem that was diagnosed and almost took his life in the womb (like a favorite fellow blogger)... and is rearing it's ugly head again while my baby is only in his 9th month of life.
IF my sibling - only 27 years old - just passed from a cancer struggle that lasted 4 whole years (or from anything for that matter! we have not been directly affected by too many deaths as of yet).
IF my 1 year anniversary was celebrated with uncertainty... wondering how long my marriage might actually last.
IF my life was like that of our compassion child - who lives in AIDS infested, mob controlled burkina faso, africa... where trying to find food is a struggle... where hoping is as much as he can do in an effort to avoid being taken by guns and angry men - then taught to steal, kill, and destroy...
the truth is i can imagine, but stating that i can't is, i guess, a way to offer a heartfelt attempt at relating and offering my sympathy.
but it isn't truly heartfelt, is it? it's being too lazy to take even a second to imagine what it would be like if i were in their shoes... too selfish to attempt to feel their pain (though impossible to actually do). and just relying on some lame, overused phrase to express myself.
OR is that self-loathing - to be in a state of trying to make yourself feel pain. there is pain all over the world. there always will be... well, not always. i digress.
where am i taking this?
the LORD made this world perfect. no death. no pain. no suffering. we're the ones that messed it up. allowed dirtiness. permitted sadness.
while we are waiting for His triumphant return and building His Kingdom come, we ARE the body... we ARE responsible for being Christ to the world... and pushing towards that perfect existence that will one day be.
i cannot wait for those times, those days when all tears are tears of joy... when all sadness and shadows are gone.
in the meantime, i must break out of my "i can't even imagine" mind-frame... and allow myself to truly empathize the best i can with friends, family, and those who surround me - and thus, truly love them - for that is what i am called to do.