One recent morning, I saw two separate posts about “belonging” on my social media profile.
By finding those people who welcome you and treat you with the love and respect that is your birthright, those people who honor you.
How, when you’re at a table where you’re not greeted with love and respect, but their complete opposites – like shame, criticism, contempt and so on – you have to respect yourself enough to walk away.
And, finally, when you come to the end of your life, who would you like to be sitting with you, holding your hand. Who are those few people who have been with you through thick and thin, laughing and crying with you, cheering you on along the way, being your own personal cheerleader?
Some of us have many people we can think of who could fill this role. Others might only have one or two. Some, unfortunately, do not. What matters is not the quantity, but the quality.
Finding those people in our own lives who consistently offer those things can be a challenge. Due to negative childhood and other experiences, we might be inclined to only let people get so close. These walls that we build are sometimes more of a preventative and self-protective mechanism than they are of trust in any particular person.
Fortunately, along my journey in life, God has blessed me with many beautiful souls along the way who have each offered their own little pieces of the puzzle to renewed spiritual wholeness.
Whether through co-workers, acquaintances, church friends, retreat meetings… I have met people who have welcomed me with open hearts. I have no doubt that these people were bringing Jesus himself to me.
In the famous words of Saint Teresa of Avila:
Christ has no more body than yours.
No hands, no feet on the ground except yours.
You are the eyes through which he looks compassion upon this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
You are the hands with which he blesses the whole world.
Your hands, your feet, your eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no more body on earth than yours.
This is what we are called to be. This is what we are called to do.
Often those of faith keep their eyes fixed on a nebulous place in the sky seeking all kinds of help from Jesus himself, when as believers in his teachings we are called to be that help, through the power and action of the Holy Spirit.
We live in a sacramental world, and although there are unexplainable supernatural healings, most of the time healing comes through personal encounters with one another. Jesus demonstrated this by putting his fingers in the ears of the deaf and applying mud made from dirt and spit to the eyes of the blind. He demonstrated this by looking into the hearts of every individual he encountered, recognizing each of them as the unique and irreplaceable souls that they were and treating them as such.
When we use our five natural senses in our daily encounters, to see and listen deeply, to speak words of comfort and compassion, to offer aromatic scents and tender touch to our friends, family and neighbors, we do the healing work of Jesus here on Earth.
The only thing that keeps us from being these healing agents is our lack of faith in the possibility and our lack of intention to be this healing agent.
As we enter November, a month when the veil between the saints in heaven and the saints on earth seems particularly thin, it is worth reflecting on our own lives, on all those we have met along the way who have brought us a little welcome, love or advice.
And, to also consider how we have provided similar gifts to others.
There’s no better feeling in life than feeling like your life matters, like you matter. There is no better feeling than feeling needed, wanted, appreciated and validated.
Although some of us may not have received this gift as children, God continually gives us new opportunities to receive it and learn to give it back to others. It is up to us to go through life with an open conscience, so that we can recognize these angels in disguise, as well as those who might need medicine that only our soul can provide.
Think about it: whose hand would you want to hold while you take your last breath? Whose hand would you hold while they took theirs?
In this walk that we are doing here on Earth, these are ultimately the only questions that matter.
THE SPIRIT MATTERS is a weekly column that examines experiences common to the human mind. Contact Jerrilyn Zavada at email@example.com to share how you are engaging your spirit in your life and your community.
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‘Have your hands, have your feet’ – Shaw Local E! News UK
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