Tuesday, April 17, 2012

pondering self and other

“The more often [a man] feels without acting, the less he will ever be able to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.” 
― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

I invite you to consider with me a couple of unrelated, true stories.  Let's see whether or not we can still feel.

Feel what?

Pity?  Useless.

Conviction?  What is that, exactly?

Motivation to act?  To change?  Repentance, even?

Now that's Kingdom talk...

Many news agencies are sharing stories about autism this month.  I don't read them all, but this one caught my attention.  By the end I was doing that heaving, ugly cry where you can't breathe.  Not only because it captures my worst fears, but because I know I must do more than care whether or not my own son ends up this way.  I must care about them all... and I know that deep down, I do not.  Not enough.

Prayers for Bobby is a true story by Mary Griffith, a mother whose gay son committed suicide .  One of the most moving scenes of the movie comes at the end (clip below), following Bobby's death and Mary's subsequent change of heart regarding homosexuality and her faith.  She looks out into the crowd and sees... Bobby?  No, Bobby is dead.  But she sees a boy who reminds her of Bobby.  Watch.   And try.  Try to put yourself in her shoes.  Use your imagination...

Now, I ask you - and I ask myself - what if?  What if we didn't wait until personal tragedy - pain within our own tiny sphere - compelled us toward compassion?

What if we chose to open our eyes?  We can, you know.  We can humble ourselves, rather than wait to be humbled.

How would the world look if we didn't need a reason to see ourselves in the eyes of another, because the other was already valuable and precious?  What if the other became "our own" simply because they are God's ... because they are human ... because they exist.

“When they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours.” 
 C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

No comments: