We are all cracked and broken; some more than others, some deeper than others. The tricky thing is, you can’t tell just by looking at a person whether their cracks run deep or shallow. I wish I could tell. With some people you just don’t know. Some people have mastered the art of appearance and showing only their perfect self to the world. It is these people that are left alone at the end of the day with their hidden broken pieces. If only one could tell by the lines on our faces. Maybe if we knew how deeply those around us had been broken, we would treat them more gently and with more compassion, because we know how it feels.
Would we offer a bigger smile? Would we offer to lighten their load? Would we offer a piece of ourselves?
I think about this a lot and when I’m walking down the street I imagine each person on the street with their broken parts exposed and vulnerable, but still moving, still breathing. I find myself drawn to those broken souls; the ones who’ve been dealt a bad hand yet continue to play the game, refusing to give up, the resilient ones, a reminder that life is here for living. Sitting with others in their hard times reminds me that I’m not alone. Our broken parts bring us together. No one is exempt from suffering.
All the more reason to live with hearts full of mercy.