Your friend shares about their special needs child? You are listening to a story of your friend who is a caregiver and the surgery the person they care for just had? Your friend just took their family to a special camp and had a great experience? Phil. 2:3-5, “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for our own personal interests, but also for the interest of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” Let’s do this and care about others, their story, and give them “their moment!”
Impressed recently about this idea, I have realized that we don’t often give others a chance to share their “moment” without others (or myself) wanting to share a similar experience or story. Something that happened to us recently has us really reflecting and being much more observant of letting others share what is important to them without topping their story or telling our own unless they ask.
Upon being asked how we were, Joe shared that I (Cindi) had just gotten out of the hospital and shared in 2 sentences how critical I was in the ICU -going in for one reason and other things popping up. Without missing a beat, nor asking a question or showing any interest, they shared about a friend who went into the hospital for something and died of something unrelated. It helped us to realize some things we should be aware of when others share something with us:
- Others (outside our closer circles) probably don’t really care and thus their own story will come to mind and trumps ours (we didn’t know this persons’ friend, so how was this story pertinent in the moment?)
- Their story was obviously more important or they would have asked about ours (not a question asked nor a concern shown except, “get better soon”.)
- Their “death” story of their friend didn’t encourage our journey!
- The “can you top this” attitude can leave one feeling unheard and invisible. (It did us.)
So how did we handle it? We said not another word, listened to the story and commented on it, sharing our condolences on the loss, and went on our way.