I am adapting this from an article I found in the weekly newsletter of Holy Name Cathedral here in Chicago:
Help me remember that the jerk who cut me off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry, and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help me to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for the next school year.
Remind me, Lord, tha the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really out to get a job) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help me to remember, Father, that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they can go shopping together.
Heavenly Father, remind me each day that, of all the gifts You give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open my heart, dear Lord, not to just those who are close to me, but to all humanity. Let me be slow to judge, and quick to forgive, show patience, and empathy, and love.