This morning I went to visit a friend and heard the gulls crying near her porch, wheeling and shrieking with their loud, raucous laughter.  “They’re upset,” I said.  “No, they’re in love,” she responded.  I felt foolish, but then realized how often I mistake the actions of others.  I assume because they appear happy, they truly are, when they may be hurting inside and I am blind to their pain.  People ask me how I am, and I often reply that I am fine when I’m not really fine at all.  Please, dear God, make me more sensitive to the truth in others and more open about my own truth.  Unless I see beyond the surface, I can’t serve you and reach out to others.  Help me see past the appearance so that I can minister to the underlying needs of those I meet. Amen

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