“troubled with words”
I’m in Colorado this week, enjoying Autumn (in a state that actually feels like it) at a writer’s conference. It’s a small gathering. We are all on the same team, working on a project for the Bible study we attend and serve. About a dozen women from 7 states, working and laughing and praying and eating. (Not necessarily in that order.)
Many of us have been friends for a couple of years, so there’s a lot of catching up on each others lives and families, and renewed prayer requests. One of the women has a daughter, about my age, who suffered a brain aneurysm six months ago, and has been living a life of surgeries and therapies, progress and regress ever since.
Well, sometime during the day today, one of us used the word “brainstorm” to describe the discussion we were having. My friend shook her head a little and said, “Oh please, let’s not use that word.”
You see, the word “brainstorm” has taken on a new meaning for her. To us, it means a rich a full discussion, with lots of ideas. To her, it means an extreme stress response in one’s brain, common after a brain injury. She has seen it happen with her daughter, and it’s frightening and painful to watch. So much so, that she hates hearing the word, even in its more common context.
The way she views the world has changed. It happens to all of us, sometimes in a good way, and sometimes not. And it can affect us in a lot of ways when we realize we’re perceiving the world differently from those around us. We can feel privileged to see life from a less common perspective, or we can hate our newfound knowledge, and wish we could go back to a place of blissful ignorance.
I don’t know which is impressing me more this evening ~ the desire to be thankful for everything God has taught me, good or “bad” (because we know that He works all things for good in the lives of those He has called) ~ or the desire to remember that people don’t view the world the way I do, and I need to not assume they do. I need to respect that I don’t understand their viewpoint the way I think I do.
Mostly, I feel grateful for the knowledge that every day can leave me a little wiser, in some way, than the day before. And I feel determined to try a little harder to see the world through His eyes.
~ “bearing with one another in love” ~