Bringing Christ to others
May 25, 1937—Rennes, in the train. “Why should you create solitude for yourself if I want you before the public? (then tenderly) My beloved little child, take Me, Me to others. Be Christlike.”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 354-356).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
About a year ago, a man came to speak to me about some of his struggles. Which were heavy, and without letup. Yet he still loved those who hurt him, and reached out to his enemies, in a manner that astounded me. He loved Christ Jesus with his whole heart, and because of that, his heart expanded in its ability to show mercy and to have compassion, on those who had rejected him. He was not overcome by evil, was not bitter, nor angry, but his inner suffering was truly terrible. In some ways, he was a revelation of God’s love and presence in all of our lives.
All the problems of life, no matter how severe, are, sad to say, common, even ordinary. Such is the world that we live in. For the one experiencing tragedy, however, it is a unique experience, often hidden from the eyes of others. Suffering can cause us to withdraw into ourselves, to get away from family, and friends because what we are going through is so raw. People also shut down when faced with situations that people they know are going through…..they withdraw, leaving the sufferer alone. This is understandable, for we all have a limit, and often there can be a lack of compassion, or empathy if deep suffering has not yet been experienced.
People can be a bother. I can be a nuisance for others, as well. So people will often withdraw into solitude, which is really isolation. Real solitude is life-giving, isolation can be a sterile experience that can be draining and leads to depression.
Each religion, or spiritual path, have their own way of dealing with suffering. All can be helpful, and hopefully, lead to compassion for those around them, who are experiencing suffering in its myriad forms. So I believe that grace is operative in all religions, and in the lives who have none.....no one owns God, nor grace, nor how God will work in any person’s life.
In the Christian path, we are called to give our ‘yes’ to life, and what that entails. Christ suffered greatly in his life, yet he did not give in to bitterness, or cynicism. He could not afford the luxury of seeking to run from the pain that others were experiencing. Or the pain that flows from empathy, and compassion, because he had the type of love that cast out fear. He shows us the Father’s love, by loving and healing those around him. He also spoke the truth, but in ways that are alien to men and women. He did not preach from anger, but from the point of seeking to open our eyes. When he spoke in an angry tone, it was to wake up those who were blind to their own inner corruption. and need of healing He came to save us from ourselves. The hell that we find when we close ourselves off from others, as well as from God.
The joy that we feel when helping others, flows from our nature, which is made in the image and likeness of God. We are called to bring healing and love to all, which is, of course, impossible by ourselves…..yet with, Christ, all things are possible.—Br.MD