Have you ever been somewhere that made you realize that our actions aren’t always the gentlest for ourselves and the world around us?
Today I was working out when I saw something that made me extremely sad. A young gal and her mother came in to workout. I am not sure how old or young this gal was but I don’t think she was comfortable being at this major workout place and especially since she would clearly be labeled as “overweight.” At one point, I looked over and was pretty sure I saw her eyes welling up with tears. I found myself trying to focus on my own workout and not focus on her. But at one point, I heard words that I cannot erase from my mind. One of the woman was on the floor doing a workout move when she simply said, “I have fallen and I cannot get up.” I know that those words weren’t supposed to mean anything but I could see how they cut to the core of this young gal. Oh how we need to be not just “gentle” with ourselves but with our actions and especially with each other.
In so many ways, I saw myself in this young gal. Ever since I can remember I have been the overweight girl. I have found myself being picked last for the team in gym class. I have seen the looks from others that I am not as pretty as the other girl. I have seen the hurt in my own eyes as those mean words cut to my very core. And so I wish that I could say so many things to this young gal that was working out tonight.
And if I could this is what I would say: Dear Child of God—You are beautiful. You have been “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I am proud of you for taking the time to workout with your mom. I am proud of you for even stepping foot in this building. I am proud of you for continuing to workout even as I saw the tears welling up in your eyes. I am proud of all that you can…and will accomplish. I know this isn’t an easy place to be. But please know that God is always with you. God promises to never leave you or forsake you. I used to be you. I used to be picked on and teased for so many reasons. And now I can look at those bullies and say to them, “Look at me now! Look at what I have accomplished.” You will always be a beloved child of God; always loved and cherished by God. Never forget that promise!—Love a sister in Christ.
And as I write these words, I am reminded that we need to be “gentle” with our actions and the world around us. By being gentle, I believe the world will be a much more welcoming, peaceful and hopeful place.