“It’s odd that you can become so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don’t quite fully share the hell of someone close to you” – Lady Bird Johnson

This quote by one of our former first ladies arrested me as I read it probably because of its unquestionable truth. Perhaps it caught my attention because this week in particular in northern Virginia and Washington as it has not been a walk in the park as they say in terms of the weather. We have had  two historic snowstorms one right after the other. This double whammy has ground the nation’s capital to a halt closing schools, churches, businesses, and shutting down the federal government. Today as I write this, we have reached WHITE OUT conditions in which the public works vehicles such as the snow plows have been ordered to pull off to the side of the roads due to near zero visibility. To sum it up, it is a mess out there.

The heartwarming side of these storms has been to see several stories of folks who will completely inconvenience themselves for the sake of others. This morning on the news a man was interviewed who decided to drive to the nearest hospitals in his hummer to inquire about any dialysis patients that might need a way of transportation to the hospital. He wanted to be that person to provide that ride. He wasn’t employed by the hospital, he was not in the health care profession …he just wanted to help and he did. In two days time, he drove three different patients to their treatments that their very lives depend on.

Another young lady walked to her work place in the snow since driving there was out of the question. Once she arrived at her work, she was told that her office was not opening that day and her boss told her to return home and to stay safe and warm. I forgot to mention that when she left for her office that morning she brought along a snow shovel. She did so because she anticipated that she might not stay at the office and on her walk home, she stopped and helped several families and business owners shovel snow in front of their homes and businesses. Her walk home took her six hours instead of the twenty minutes that it normally does. When interviewed, she was cold, she was exhausted but she looked deliriously happy.

Why is that?  Why was that young woman smiling from ear to ear? It is because God made us that way. We are happiest when we put others first and ourselves last. The problem is how seldom we tend to do that. Our natural bend is to look out for number one and be content in knowing that we are taken care of. The problem with that is it is so ordinary. Do I fit into that ordinary category? You bet…in fact…most of the time. As I watched the exhilarated demeanor of these two folks who inconvenienced themselves for the sake of others, I was challenged but also uneasy. I had to ask myself why I don’t see the struggle of others more often and more importantly why do I not inconvenience myself to be a help and to lighten their load?  Something to think about and hopefully to act on.

How about you? Will you inconvenience yourself to help another?  Will you choose to be extraordinary? I have a hunch that if we will, we will be truly joyous people.

Zechariah 7:9 -  Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying “Execute true judgment and shew true mercy and compassions every man to his brother …