Saturday, July 16, 2011
The Benefit of the Doubt and the Chronically Ill
Misunderstanding destroys or injures relationships. We need knowledge in order to love others wisely. We also need to trust people's judgments--even in some cases when we do not understand their reasoning. This is especially true for the chronically ill.
The normal person cannot fathom why a plethora of "normal" things bother someone with chemical and environment sensitivies, for example. So, the normal person assume that the ill person is just fussy or hypochondriacal. But remember: the sick person tends to be an expert in their sickness. They have studied it, lived with it, wanted to die from it. Therefore, when they give you advice or ask for you to not wear perfume or use a particular soap or even shaving cream: Believe Them. Please, in the name of the God of all compassion, do not get angry or judge them or question them. Do you think they would make this up when it causes themselves and others so much difficulty?
Listen to the chronically ill in love and with patience. When you fail them, ask for forgiveness. Amend your ways and go out of your way for one of "the least of these" (Matthew 25). "Love is patient. Love is kind"--I Corinthians 13.