Reality Check –
In my last Divine Incarnate post, I wrote this:
“I wasn’t there when they crucified my Lord, but I am here, now, when the dying are crying out in pain and loneliness, and the abused are losing hope that anyone will carry them to safety. Is my heart suffering with theirs in true compassion, ready to do whatever I can to help – not to hesitate, but to give generously in love? Whatever I do for the least, I do for Christ.”
Now, ask myself – do I do this? Because of my severe disability, I am physically too weak and limited to go out to the sick and dying and sit beside their beds. I am too easily exhausted to seek out the abused and find shelter and healing for them. However… I can pray for them daily and seriously. But, do I? And… I can speak gentle words of comfort when my loved one, with whom I live day in and day out, is angry, irritable, afraid, or upset. But, do I? And I can better trust the people who take care of me and not be so picky, not seek to control. But, do I?
We all have our own individual lives to live – but none of us are divided from others. We are connected to people every day in a myriad ways. In those everyday connections, I ask myself, am I embracing Christ? In those normal encounters with other people, am I wiping his bloody face and carrying his terrible burden with him? Or, instead, in those ordinary moments when I get annoyed with a person’s heavy mood, am I quick and harsh with my words and reactions? Are there times in the day when I want what I want, out of self-centered pleasure, even if it places a very difficult burden on another?
Our deepest connection to one another is our bond as human beings – as children of God. Whatever I do to my brother or my sister – not only out there in the slums, jails, and hospitals, but also right here in the living room, kitchen, and hallway – I do to Christ. Whatever I do to my brother or my sister, or my mother or my father, or my husband or my wife, or my child or my grandchild, or my coworker or my next-door neighbor, or the store clerk or the driver ahead of me on the road, I do to God-Incarnate.
So, do I love Christ? Then, how do I show that love, live that love?
It’s like when Christ Jesus asked Peter over and over again if he loved him. Every time that Peter said that he did, Christ told him to feed his sheep.
How can I feed Christ’s sheep? I am not a pastor or a doctor or a social worker – I can’t even use my arms or breathe without rocking back and forth. But… I can love. And therein lies the ultimate power of any and every human being. I can love, truly love.
But, do I?
© 2014 Christina Chase
Although crippled by disease, I am fully alive in love. I write about the profound wonder and terrible beauty of life while living with physical disability and severe dependency. Unafraid to ask life's big questions, I was briefly an atheist and considered other religions before finding, in God's choice to intimately share our humanity, what it truly means to be fully human. A revert to the Catholic Faith, I blog weekly and have written a book called It's Good to Be Here.