I remember the mother of a large family at a school where I worked. she was holding a child in her arms who was profoundly handicapped, without the capacity for cognition. She had other children in special education. She talked about what a gift he was, to be treasured as long as she had him.
Doing lectio with today’s reading, where Jesus tells Peter to “get behind me, Satan.” after Peter disagreed that Jesus had to suffer. Thinking of a couple of acquaintances who provoke anxiety (for their well-being) in me. what I am hearing is that sometimes people aren’t ready to move on from attitudes and behaviors that are clearly causing them lifelong pain. By trying to “help”, I see that these characteristics form a badly needed protection for the person. Best to await God’s timing.
In another case, a person reached out for support, then went silent. Again, it is not for me to put my foot in the door to prevent it from closing.
Compassion is a foremost value for me, but I have to ask: is this really some kind of ego need, where I am trying to usurp God’s place in tending to the other?
Such a fine line to walk, but God is at my side.