On Saturday I had the pleasure of hearing John Wood, author of Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Mission speak. I read his book earlier in the summer and it was life changing! So when the opportunity for me to hear him in person presented itself I was beyond thrilled. I highlighted the heck out of the book and often find myself going back to it for my morsels of convictions when I find myself falling short or struggling with worldly temptations. I keep it right next to my life manual, the bible.
During his talk he brought up the fact that we all come in contact with difficult people in our lives. Think back over the past month. Did you come in contact with a difficult person, an ornery neighbor, frustrated parent, or a toddler throwing a full on Oscar award winning tantrum? I know I have, on more than one occasion. He then quoted Mother Teresa…..
Each one of them is Jesus in Disguise. Then he went on to ask, how should you treat those people? You could laugh at them when they throw their tantrums, you could mock them, or ignore them? But they are Jesus in disguise, how would you treat Jesus? Would you treat him kindly, compassionately, with patience and love? I know I would. That was a real ‘aha moment’ for me. I have always considered the poor, sick, and elderly to be Jesus in disguise but my 3 year old? It is brilliant!
When I came home that evening and my 3 year old was throwing an Oscar award winning tantrum I knelt down and looked in her big blue eyes and spoke to her in a calm voice with patience. Granted she didn’t listen the first 3 times. But the 4th time I did not yell or lose my head, I maintained composure and compassion and guess what? She listened. A sense of Grace came over me and I found myself welcoming my next encounter with Jesus in disguise.
But what about those days, weeks, or months when you are plagued with difficult people, tantrums, and constantly giving? Those days you are tempted to just lose it and say what about me?
“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” Pope Benedict XVI
Interested in reading more on this topic: Haley Stewart wrote a fabulous article, You were Made for Greatness, Not Comfort.
Have you come in contact with a difficult person recently? How did you handle it? Do you have a toddler? Where have you seen Jesus in Disguise?