When I am hard-pressed by circumstances, I usually look for the nearest escape. Same as JVJ. “All extreme situations have their flashes which sometimes make us blind, sometimes illuminate us.” I can become a “despairing inventors of expedients.” But unlike JVJ in his real situation of fatality, I am hard-pressed usually by extrapolated perceptions with exaggerated consequences. When will I ever learn? Who will set me free? Thanks be to God, let that real freedom be my reality.
The best part of these processes is the separated moment. There I can see clearly. I see that this life is a temporary striving and mostly people are concerned about themselves. The degree to which I can set my eyes on the strivings of others and show compassion and service is going to determine my own lasting fulfillment. How does the human soul strive? What can I look for in compassion?
- The human soul needs to be noticed.
- The human soul needs to be appreciated.
- The human soul needs to be valued.
- The human soul needs rest and comfort.
- The human soul needs to find significance.
People are hurting and feeling more than I pay attention to. Perhaps the extreme situations occur every day – with invisible mini-strokes of anxiety or boredom or loss. The greatest extreme may be the quiet desperation that accumulates over a life of neglect. And the invention is the set of coping schemes that insulate us to others.
But there is a God who grins at our appearance on the stage in the short hour of life, and smiles at our mere showing up even when we are distracted from the song that we are supposed to be singing. And joy above joy is the eye contact that His child might give and get to and from that applauding father.
Yes, I am nervous, but look out there in the audience. There. He is applauding. Those extreme moments of invention can be defused by a smile from the friendly fan.