How to sympathise with “first world” problems

Some struggles win our sympathy easily – but what about those which don’t?

Some struggles win our sympathy easily.

My mother died.

I have cancer.

We are being evicted.

These announcements normally evoke an emotional response. We recognise them as huge, world-breaking problems. They are tragedies with capital ‘T’s.

For this reason it is often easier to sympathise with our chronically ill friend, than our whining-about-their-chipped-nails colleague. And yet, we’ve discussed that as humans (and even more so as Christ-followers) we really ought to sympathise with both.

Easy to say.

Hard to do.

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Why you should sympathise with first world problems (when your own are much bigger)

First world problems – is there anything more irritating when you’re going through tragedy?

I stubbed my toe.

I can’t afford concert tickets.

There’s no chocolate in my house.

Who hasn’t heard such complaints? From friends, colleagues – perhaps from yourself.

We often label them “first world problems”.

And they can be annoying. Especially as Watchers.

Continue reading “Why you should sympathise with first world problems (when your own are much bigger)”

How to cope with grief in a public place

It’s one thing to say it’s ok to cry, and quite another to know what to do when you start crying!

I like practical answers. If something uncomfortable has to happen, I want to know how I can fix it (or, preferably, avoid it). And so, fellow Watchers, what do we do when we find ourselves crying in church?

Is this a silly question?

What do I do when I find myself crying? Is this even a question that needs to be answered? I think it is.

Why? Because weeping in public is not a common occurrence in Western culture. We generally try to avoid it – and so when we weep in public it is because we are overcome with grief. Tears take us by surprise; we are unprepared.

And personally, I’d rather not be. So let’s think about it now, before we find ourselves in that situation. What should we do when we find ourselves overcome with emotion in public place?

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How to love our Wider Watchers

It’s easy, for us Watchers, whose lives are so embroiled with the pain of our Loved One, to forget those around us who aren’t Watchers. To overlook the lives of those Wider Watchers – our friends, our relations, our own other loved ones, who watch us as we Watch our suffering Loved Ones.

This is the final post is a short series about Wider Watchers. In Who are the Wider Watchers? We thought about how we are all actually Wider Watchers to some extent, and Wider Watchers (unlike Watchers) have the choice to Watch and to love, and this makes their sacrifice even more beautiful. In When our Wider Watchers hurt us? We pondered what it looks like to respond when Wider Watchers hurt us or our Loved One through their words or actions. In this post, we will discuss what it means to love our Wider Watchers, how to care for those around us who are not Watching as we are.

Why is this important?

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