“Satan’s desire is to turn me in on myself to the extent that I become enslaved and become a destructive force in community. The thrust from Jesus Christ is the opposite – to enhance my freedom so that I can become a creative force of love. It is the spirit of self-centeredness and selfishness versus the spirit of openness and self-sacrifice for the good of others.” – Dietrich Bonhoffer
What are you aware of today? What entered your mind which drew your focus? Who crossed your path whose presence lingered after they were gone? What were you attuned to as you found yourself amidst the moments of your day? There is a world around us that many days we miss. Our focus, or sometimes lack of, inhibits us from the glory majestically given to us every day. A clear, blue, cloudless sky; the spouse who left a short note reminding that they love you; the overheard laughter and joy of friends sharing a moment at a coffee shop; your little one giving you a hug before you leave for work. Maybe something upsetting came into your day, maybe a moment where you saw the lack of control we have in this life? What we are conscious of directly affects how we go through the days we are given.
This can be difficult in contexts of some of the pursuits of society. Counterintuitive to the “looking out for #1” philosophy of the world, we have a precept ever before us where we must deny ourselves and pursue Christ. This is the essence of putting others before ourselves and also taking up the cross of our Savior. So often we regard this with high ideal and mystical significance, but we do not pragmatically search for opportunity to moments to emulate the actions of the Risen Lord in our daily lives. Being conscious of his purpose opens our eyes and ears to his world of response. There is an overwhelming peace and purpose when one lives in the consciousness of the Savior: The beauty of creation comes through, as does the needs of others. The rocks do cry out declaring his majesty. The radiant light of his design and purpose comes into the plain view of our appreciation and sustenance. The community of humanity is seen as it truly is; a beautiful, fearful, unworthy, needy, messy, wonderfully created group of significant individuals, who are loved dearly by the Father. They were loved so deeply and so completely that the offering of execution of the perfect and holy Son of God as a sacrifice, that they might be conscious of the wonder he has set before them. This glorious Lord longs for our focus to leave ourselves, our pursuits, and our needs; looking to Him, that we might become conscious of his desires at every turn. God desires to use us in our communities. He longs to use us to be the loving extension of his arms around someone in pain. He bids us to be his ears for the exasperated, who need the tangible empathy of someone to sit with them and share in their moment of engulfment. He calls us to be joyful without resentment in the success and achievements of others.
We are not defined in the experiences of our abstaining from life, or withholding from people, or practices. We are purposed in diving into the human condition and being a avenue of rescue for the lost and dying. The idea of the wounded healer is that Jesus was here for that sick and the failing of heart, not to massage the wellbeing of the religious. Our creative forces of love and dignity we bring into the lives of others show Christ to our fellow members of our communities. He longs us to know this freedom in the consciousness of his purpose, his mind, and his will. There is joy in opening your life and focus to what his community has need of in light of what your openness can be a part of. Christ came that we might know Him fully. The words, the intention, the love and the rapture: Being overcome by the person of Christ so completely that it permeates one’s moment by moment focus. It illuminates that which crosses your path with the inspiration of Christ and his mission.
We have a Father who has created magnificence and put it all around us in our daily experience. As Jim Wallis states, “The difference that we make will be determined in the end simply by how faithful we are to the gospel. The rest has to left to God.” The message of the gospel is that Christ gave himself to others, without manipulating them, and without joining them to his agenda before he gave of himself. He responded to the world around him to draw others to his Father. He was open to be a force of encouragement and inspiration in his community. He genuinely loved God and loved others. His focus was kept Him in the wonder and mindset of what the Father had for Him to do. Let us live in faithfulness of the Gospel. Let us live conscious of the needs of the communities around us. Let us emulate the Savior that we might have the majesty of the Father illuminate all of our days. That we might be a source of love and response to those in need; that our joy might be made complete in Him who knows us and intended us to be fulfilled in pursuing Him.