Grace and Peace to you.
Olympic athletes do impossible things with mind-boggling grace. One of the American gymnasts said to another before her routine, “Do normal.” What for most of us is unimaginably exceptional is for them just normal. Olympic athletes win medals without even doing their personal best; they look relaxed setting world records; they look smooth even on sticks instead of feet…. We hear it a lot: they make it look easy. Except for the weightlifters. They do not make it look easy.
Of course none of it is easy. They train; they discipline themselves; they decide that the pain is worth the gain. As they improve they’re awkward and incapable and they fail a lot. We just don’t see that part. We see the finished performance, not the effort it takes to get there.
We all make things look easy that are not easy for everybody: speaking in public, or being self-confident, being happy, believing in God, trusting others, walking into a church. Sometimes it’s even basic skills like walking, saying a sentence, following a conversation, not being afraid of everybody, not being violent. Some people make surviving abuse or enduring poverty or experiencing hate or discrimination look easy. But it’s not always easy. We notice the performance but we don’t always see the practice, the pain, the sacrifices, the effort, the failures, the doubts, the difficulty.
Be gentle with everyone you meet. You have no idea what struggles they endure to do what may seem easy. You have no clue what discipline, what pain they may have to accept to survive, to appear “normal.”
You can’t know everyone’s struggle, but you can honor it. You can’t see everyone’s pain but you can be gentle. You can think highly of everyone even if they’ve learned to make how they live look easy. You can be forgiving; you can be encouraging and not judging; you can give people room to fail and improve; you can free people from your own expectations and projections. You can be so loving, in fact, that though it’s apparently hard for others for you it’s just normal. It won’t be easy, but with discipline you can do it. Be so loving that you make it look easy.