Everyone has their Caroline

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Appearances can be so deceiving, such a poor measure of a person. Admonished the Savior, 'Judge not according to the appearance.'" - Thomas S. Monson

Too close, Mommy.

Caroline's appearance elicits a quick response.  

She brings out another's curiosity, compassion or even insecurity.  Whatever they feel, people know she needs care and attention and is to be treated delicately.

When people see us with her, they seem to be more sensitive and observant.  Some quickly look for ways to help.  She's like a flashing neon sign with a large arrow pointing at us saying, "This family is unique.  They have hard times."

As I learn more about the people around me, I'm repeatedly reminded that appearance deceives.  Acquaintances, friends, even family - everyone has struggles they don't or can't or won't share, everyone has reasons why I need to be more sensitive and helpful.  Just when I've forgotten that, something happens to remind me.  

One of my close friends has been having problems with her career that put her livelihood in jeopardy - most people who know her don't know about it.  But I only just found out that on top of that, she's been really hurt by recent and repeated critical comments from a family member.   She wouldn't have told me about it, but I happened to be hanging out with her when she got an upsetting email from that person.  I'd never have known otherwise.

It happens over and over -- people surprise us with the depth of burden they are carrying or have carried.  

So, I'm trying to pretend that everyone has a flashing neon sign that points to them and says, "This person is unique.  They have hard times.  Be sensitive and helpful toward them.  Love them."

"Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others." Thomas S. Monson

Even Caroline's medically-challenged appearance is deceiving.  If people judge her by that alone, they miss the treasured spirit that lies hidden within her frail frame and the strength she brings our family.

Aren't people constantly surprising you with the good that lies within them? All of us have hidden treasures in our souls - with the right vision, we can see the beautiful gifts in those around us.

So, let's again resolve to set aside appearance and seek to love the way Christ asks us to love.  After all, everyone has their Caroline.  Everyone has hard burdens and beautiful treasures they're carrying.


  1. i loved this post--beautifully written. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes (I forgot who said it though) "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".
    I really love your perspective on this--thanks :)

  2. LOVE this blog idea E. Good for you for making a difference in the world and helping us to see with better eyes. xoxo

  3. Thanks so much, Lisa! I love that quote - I just need to keep repeating it to myself because, even though I know better, I'm not as kind as I should be a lot. I guess continually trying to improve is a part of the battle too!

  4. Thanks, Em!! VNice of you to say.


Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger