It’s The Encounters That Keep Us Going

25 Oct

“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” Albert Schweitzer

“I don’t need anyone.”  That is a thought that often goes through our minds.  Sometimes, we tell ourselves, or others, that because we are trying to assert our independence.  We want to prove that we can do things on our own.  Sometimes, we tell ourselves that because we have been hurt and we want to minimize the impact of the hurt by telling ourselves that they person was not really that important to us.  Still other times, we tell ourselves that because we do not want to get involved in the problems, worries, and frenetic activities of daily living.

Whatever the reason, telling ourselves that is a falsehood.  In the final analysis, we all need other people in our lives.  The people who specialize in torture will tell you that the quickest way to break someone down is to cut them off from daily interactions with others.  Without the ability to see, hear, or interact with another person, we will quickly fall apart.

When we are feeling low, when discouraged or depressed, an encounter with other people can make our day.  They validate our existence.  They make us happy.  They give us a reason to look ahead.  That is the wonderful gift of the human family.  It is a reflection of that great gift to come: the family that awaits us in heaven.

Imagine, first of all, being reunited with all of our loved ones at the end of our lives.  Such a joy.  Then, imagine even more, being introduced to all the saints who have gone before us.  Then, to cap it all off, imagine the joy of being in the presence of God, of seeing Him face to face.

We have an inherent knowledge that we need others in our lives because our souls are looking for that ultimate other, God.  Whenever we encounter another person here on earth, we have the ability to encounter God because He dwells in each and every one of us.  Whenever we are present to someone else in need, they encounter God because we allowed God to shine forth in our own lives.

Imagine being able to stand in for God.  It is an awesome responsibility and an incredible joy.  Celebrate that today.

FAITH ACTION:  Be the reason that someone can state that they had a good day today.  Let them know that they matter to you.