Lord, give me eyes that I may see,
Lest I as people will,
Should pass someone’s Calvary,
And think it just a hill.
You ever see someone's pain and just walk on by? Maybe you don't think it's that bad or you don't have time to mess with it. Or you just aren't in the mood. Or maybe you're afraid of what it will cost you (time, energy, compassion, money). We have all done it and will do it yet again.
Calvary is one of those old terms that you find in a lot of church hymns, but not everyone knows what it means. Calvary is derived from the Latin word that means skull. Why? The name of the area near Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified was called Golgotha (Aramaic for "skull"). It has been known as a hill, but no one is for sure that it was a hill. However, it could be seen from a long way off, so that's probably why everyone assumes it was a hill. So if we talk about Calvary, it's the place where Jesus suffered on the cross - the beating, spitting, cursing, and ultimately hanging by his wrists and feet from spikes until he either bled to death or suffocated.
If we talk about "someone's Calvary" it implies to me the place where someone is in their deepest suffering.
Your Calvary is not my Calvary. If I've been thru a lot and you haven't, I could be tempted to judge you for "overreacting" to something so seemingly small. But your pain is no less, no matter what I might think of it. Thus, the point of the poem.
I know a LOT of people dealing with their own Calvary right now. And many of them feel so alone and hopeless. My heart breaks for them. God calls us to reach out to them.
- Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn. -Romans 12:15
- We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. -Romans 15:1-2
- Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? -James 2:15-16
- Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. -Jeremiah 8:21
- Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. -Colossians 3:12
2. What can you do to show them they are not alone (without giving them unsolicited advice)?
3. If you are the one suffering, what do you need right now? Who do you trust that you can confide in or lean on?
4. Pray for this person. Ask God to show you how you can help, and be willing to do just that. Also pray for yourself:
God, help me to see others' pain as significant and not to judge
it by what it seems. Amen.