What do I see in another human being? I have been reading a couple books of late. One book is Saint Faustina’s diary. Sister Faustina was not a learned woman, but her insight and faith ran deep. She seemed to have extraordinary insight into her soul and its relationship to her natural self. I am not real far into the book as I am mostly reading it at adoration but so far, the book is enlightening. The other book I recently finished is called The Messenger by Jeni Stepanek about her son Mattie. Mattie was born in 1990 and passed away in 2004. What he left us with however is an extraordinary gift through his role as a messenger. It is one of the most impactful books I have read. Suffice to say Mattie had an insight beyond his years and undeniable inspiration. Reading these two books has prompted me to try something alittle different. From the basis that we are all born with Christ’s thumbprint on our soul, and that God is within each of us I have started to on occasion look at someone and try to “see” Christ in that person before I interact with them. To say “see” Christ is for lack of a better term, perhaps a better way to state that is to “consciously realize” Christ in that person. Starting with family members it is a little easier to feel that realization because you know them and have interacted with them in more personal and intimate ways than others. Regardless of the perceived spiritual state of the person it is not really difficult to see God in them. What has become enlightening for me however is when I try the same with those I don’t know as well, like colleagues. My human nature is constantly evaluating other humans around me and that guides my interaction with them. That is proper and sometimes even wise. This part of our human nature however, only serves to provide what is needed for a very short term interaction. To relate to someone as human to human, a deeper understanding is needed. That’s logical. What I am finding is that when I take just a couple seconds to “realize” that Christ is within the person I am looking at, I seem to think of them more on an individual level in a more connected manner. I find it fascinating when I try to see Christ in strangers. Human nature quickly classifies strangers or groups of strangers based soley on experiences and developed perceptions through similar situations. I find when I take a second and ‘realize’ Christ in those individuals, most often it changes the way I feel about them. It seems as though I am more compassionate to whatever situation they are in, and I am more open in my thought towards them. It is not always easy. In another example, I was at the fair this weekend. The fair is comprised of one of the most diverse groups you can get. We went on the skyride. While moving above the crowd I remember thinking, “man that is a lot of people”. I then thought of Christ being in each and everyone of them, equally. The thought was fractions of a second and the concept was admittedly tough to really comprehend. I guess this will be a work in process for me.
If you are looking for a book to read that will have an impact on your life, I highly recommend The Messenger. There is also a website you can checkout, www.mattieonline.com. Mattie has a quote, “We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts”. How true that is.