In church today, my pastor shared a story. He was in a group with several women who were sharing their stories. Many of them shared of abuse and trauma. He, as he put it, shared from his white male privilege, “my life is so blessed!”. Later, he was confronted by one of the women who called him out saying, “What makes you think my life is not blessed?”
Wow! It hit me like a ton of bricks. For a while now, I’ve been increasingly depressed. Between my usual gastroparesis stomach pain, mental health struggles and most recently knee replacement surgery, my life has been more disrupted than normal. And yet, I’m blessed.
God doesn’t say those whose lives are easy are blessed. On the contrary, Christianity teaches blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted insulted, or lied about. (Matthew 5:3-12) Those of us who struggle are blessed.
My faith teaches me to love others as I want to be loved, not as I feel loved. Christianity is less about “feeling” and more about “action”. Even when life is hard, even when we don’t feel loved, God is with us, blessing us. Not necessarily how we want to be blessed but deep in our soul. We are loved and we can share that love.
John Wesley made famous Peter Bohler’s words, “Preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.” Love others until you feel loved and then, when you feel loved, love others.