Friday, December 26, 2014

Being of True Human Value

When it comes to being of true value to the Lord, we may know the benefit we are to the Divine by the value we can be to our fellow humanity.
How can we know we are of true human value? When we are of value to others, notwithstanding the fact that, in God, we are wholly valuable despite what or what we don’t do, God helps us feel of true human value.
Let us juxtapose two methods of help that we typically provide to the person we know (and some we don’t):
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
 Henri J.M. Nouwen (1932 – 1996)
It appears that being of true human value is both much easier and much harder than we first thought. If we do less, we do more, but if we insist on foisting ourselves over others’ needs then we will not only sadden them, we will frustrate ourselves. This is because all the effort we put it in is not appreciated, and we might be forgiven for feeling a little betrayed. (Not that the person we are serving, perhaps, even wanted what we had to offer in the first place!)
If we do less, we actually do more.
If we keep our help simple it’s most likely it’ll be effective.
These are the subtleties of serving others, and, if we get our motive right, we don’t have any issue understanding a person’s reaction. If our service to them is really all about them (and not ourselves) we will be genuinely grateful for their response or reaction. The feedback we get is held as highly valuable.
Of course, we will battle with our pride if we get feedback that’s difficult to bear, but we will recover if we truly wish to serve them.
We are of true human value when we provide support and encouragement to others. Most people prefer tacit support and discerning encouragement over advice, solutions or cure-alls.
Being of true human value is the skill and desire of journeying with another in their frailty.
Less is more when it comes to helping, but what we do and how we do it should always be to the pleasure of the one we serve.
If we’re committed to love our feelings, biases, and needs are pushed to the background as we engage an actively caring paradigm of thought.
To put another person first is to experience God putting us first.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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