“And your very flesh shall be a great poem.” ~ Walt Whitman
I have heard it said, many times throughout my life, that we might be the only “book” that another person reads in his or her life. They will look at us, they will examine us, they will listen to us and parse our words. They will learn from us and be led, for good or ill, by our example.
That, in and of itself, should make us stop and reflect upon just what kind of life we are living. How do we feel, knowing that we are setting the example that someone else might follow? Do we accept that incredible responsibility or are we frightened because we know that we miss the mark when it comes to living a good, holy life?
The responsibilities of every Christian are many. We are to do all that we can to become more holy day by day. That means that we should have a solid and continuous prayer life. It also means that we should worship with the faith community and perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. To become more holy, we sacrifice of ourselves for the sake and benefit of others. Putting others before ourselves is an act of humility and reverence.
There are too many people in this world who put their own wants first. Because of this, they never seem to be willing to help others in need. That is a real shame. They deprive themselves of the joy of helping others and, instead, draw more deeply into themselves. These are the people who, if they are ever in need, do not even know how to ask for help since they never truly associated with others. Even if they did ask for help, they may find no one willing to come to their aid since they never helped others.
Learning to help begins at a very early age. We need to teach our children the value and joy of helping others. When they see that we are willing to reach out to others and that we derive joy and fulfillment from doing so, they will be more inclined to mimic our actions and learn for themselves that helping others can be a joyful and holy experience.
There are people in the world who will watch us before ever approaching us. They will watch us to see if our deeds match our words. If we say that we are believers, we should be living the life of a believer. Doing so, we will set a shining example for them to follow.
It might seem kind of frightening to think that we might be the only “book” that another reads in his or her life. Yes, it might be frightening; but, it is a reality. Be the best book possible.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the grace to be a true witness of Jesus’ love.