Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. - Romans 12:15
Dear People Who Have Illness Envy,
Can we talk for just a minute? It won't take long, I promise.
I assume you know who you are. There are lots of you, so spread the word, would you?
Please do not say things like, “I wish I could stay home all day like you do.” Or, “You get to lay around a lot! Lucky!” Or, “Must be nice to just be able to have everyone do everything for you.”
No. No, it's not. It's not nice or fun or easy or some days, even bearable.
I want you to think back to the last time you had the flu. Remember when you got to miss a whole week at work while your fever raged and you puked your guts up? Fun times, right?
That's what it's like for us.
We would love nothing more than to be able to hold a job or make a meal or get tired out from our activity level rather than our chronic illness. It would be seriously awesome if we could scrub every toilet within a five mile radius and never even have time to watch television.
See, it's only fun if you have a choice. If you choose to take a vacation and lay around all day, that's a blast. If it's your choice to quit your job and stay home, that's a blessing.
We have no choice. That's the difference.
We know that you sometimes just want to cheer us. Illness envy doesn't do that.
We know that you're desperate for a way to relate. Illness envy robs us of the compassion we truly need.
So the next time you're tempted to be jealous, picturing us blissfully resting on a cloud, munching bon-bons, without a care in the world... just... don't.
The Rest of Us
Dear Lord, thank You for the people you place into our lives who “get it”. Thank You for the strength to go on each day. Please let compassion and empathy grow, Lord. The world could use a lot more of that. In Jesus' Name, Amen...
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May God Bless You,