“Mom, can I get a puppy?” The boy’s mother was skeptical. When he assured her that he would not only pay for the puppy himself but would care for it she relented.
The boy collected his savings and dashed out the door.
He counted the puppies in the window before going inside the store. The pet store owner then took him back to the window to make his selection. The boy’s decision had already been made. “I want that one,” he said as he pointed to the smallest puppy in the corner.
“Oh, you don’t want that one,” the store owner replied. “He’s crippled. He’s got a problem with one of his legs. He can’t run and play like the other puppies. Choose another one.”
The boy lifted his pant leg exposing a metal leg brace. “No,” the boy insisted. “I think I’ll take the one in the corner.”
One of the most helpful things we can do when when our hearts are hurting is seek the companionship of someone who knows our struggle. God has a knack for bringing “kindred spirits” into our lives to help us to process our pain and restore our hope.
I feel a special connection to people with father wounds. A shared history makes me tender toward those deprived of a dad’s love. I have found healing through those whose stories parallel mine.
When our daughter was struggling to weather the emotional devastation of two unsuccessful pregnancies, it wasn't her mother or father or pastor or doctor who brought her calm and offered her hope. It was women--young and old, some of whom she didn't even know--who felt what she was feeling. They knew first-hand the heartache, shame, and loneliness of miscarriage. And they made it through.
Where do cancer patients find the most hope? From cancer survivors. Who offers more support to a person caught in the web of alcoholism than one who has been set free from the same snare?
More times than not, the person who lends the most comfort, understanding, and compassion when we're faced a gut-wrenching trial--whether it be depression, addiction, the loss of a job, or the loss of marriage--is someone who has walked that same road.
God shines brightest through people who have encountered suffering and have not only survived, but have come out of their ordeals with supernatural strength, greater love, and deeper faith.
The truth is, when our storms subside, we often don't remember their severity or the even the depth of our struggle. But we never forget who was with us.
There is incredible power in the words, Me, too.