I hope this doesn’t come across as self pity or feeling sorry for myself. That is not my intention. But I wanted to share how God kept me from falling into self pity this past Labor Day weekend.
First, why I was fighting not to feel sorry for myself. It’s Labor Day weekend, so everyone is out visiting friends and enjoying the sun. Having conversations and generally having a good time.
Me? It’s just me and the dogs in the house for the afternoon on Sunday. Going to barbecues, picnics and other outdoor activities can be pretty boring for me. I can’t eat and I can’t talk, so my day is spent listening to everyone else talk and watching them eat. I can’t talk because my computer doesn’t work under bright light, the sun is definitely a bright light.
If it’s a park or family type thing, sometimes watching the kids play can bring some joy. Reminds me of a simpler time when there doesn’t seem to be a care in the world. A time when your whole life is in front of you.
I still go to the occasional outdoor gathering but I’m very selective. If people I know somewhat well will be attending I am more likely to go. I go because I like hearing how they are doing even if I can’t respond. Also, they are more likely to at least try to include me. They either make a point to talk to me directly or even try to ask me questions in a way that might be easy for me to answer i.e. questions that I can answer with minimal talking involved.
Okay, now how God kept me from ruining my day by feeling sorry for myself. I was sitting outside with my dogs so I could get some sun and fresh air. I was feeling a little down, and saw some movement in the tree in front of me. The tree is maybe three feet from me.
I could see the tail feathers of a bird, so I couldn’t see it too well. I couldn’t tell if it was making a nest or just trying to eat the nearby berries. I assumed it was a blue jay because we have a lot of them in the neighborhood. I then noticed another bird a few branches over.
I couldn’t stop looking at them even though I couldn’t see them clearly. Then one of them moved to a slightly closer tree and I was able to see it clearly. It wasn’t a blue jay after all. After looking it up online I’m 90% sure if was some sort of sparrow. I was thrilled and amazed.
We have tons of birds in the neighborhood but usually they are in another yard or flying over. Seeing God’s creatures that close has a calming effect, at least it does on me. This made me think of what Jesus said about our value, using the example of a sparrow.
What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. – Luke 12:6-7 NLT
It was as if God was saying that He sees me as more valuable than I could ever imagine. So what if you can’t really participate at outdoor gatherings , you have so so many other chances to communicate and be in community. You have people in your life who make an effort to make sure you are involved because they care about you. So many people don’t even have that, and I just don’t mean disabled people .
Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Any reason you think you have to feel sorry for yourself is just an illusion.