Friday, May 22, 2009

Unsolicited Compassion

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

These characteristics are nearly impossible to teach with words. They're definitely learned in ordinary life lessons. I was thinking about these things as I was dealing with the effects of a bug flying in my eye, and causing a minor injury to my right eye last night. All this during the first barbecue at the lake of the summer.

I was standing outside talking to some friends and I felt a bug fly into my eye. I blinked much and tried to help the bug find its way out. I'm not sure if/when it came out, but, goodness, my eye was irritated. After rescuing my contact, my friends had plenty of suggestions ...

... Flush it with water. Check. No real success.
... "Let's look again," said with a flashlight in hand. Check. Yep, nothing visible.
... Hold an ice cube on it. Check. Wrapped it in a paper towel. Applied pressure. Temporary relief.
... Wear an eye patch. Um, nobody had one.
... Tape cold paper towel to face. Attempted. Medical tape wasn't strong enough to hold with any necessary pressure.
... Try duct tape. Um, nope. I draw the line there.

So I hung out with my friends + attempted to watch my 2-year-old daughter while holding a paper towel against my right eye. I'd try to blink. And it hurt. But gradually, it watered often and I was able to not feel irritable aching.

Good thing because I needed to drive home. (Greg was at a meeting, missing out on our summer fun.) So I put my contact back in, and I could see ... and the irritability was gone. I hung out a little longer, this time able to see clearly my friends. Then I drove the 30 minutes home from the lake, better cleaned off Cate's skinned knee and dirty feet, put her to bed and then took my contacts out.



I wasn't expecting for my right eye to water, hurt and want to close all the same time. Again. I guess I re-irritated it when I took my contact hurt. I was glad to be home, where no bugs were threatening my eye and I could wear my glasses. But I was once again holding a cold rag on my right eye.

After getting comfortable with my eye pressed against my pillow, I feel asleep looking forward to morning, when my eye would open normally. Other than a little inconvenient (but, thankfully, brief) awakening at 3:45 a.m., I slept all night. Only to wake up disappointed because my eye wasn't functioning like I anticipated.

After Cate and I were up, she asked for some milk while I was sitting down, tears running down my cheeks. Some of the tears were a lasting result of the stupid bug that irritated my eye; others were out of frustration because I really thought my eye would feel better.

"Cate, you'll have to wait just a minute. Momma's eye hurts."

"Kiss it."

"Sure," as I removed my glasses.

{She kissed it.} "Better?"

"Much." OK, so maybe it really wasn't any better, but my heart melted in that moment because my 2-year-old daughter showed me compassion. Completely unsolicited by anyone. All on her own.

Cate must have noticed tears were still streaming down both sides of my face because she said, "Momma sad."

"Yes, a little. But I'll be OK. Thanks, sweet girl."

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