by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; you are mine.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)
The presence of another person can be a
transforming experience in our life. At times, it can mean the difference
between life and death. The parents know that the children are hungry for the
presence of them always. Now the medical science proved, touching, breast
feeding, and holding the children in the hands of the parents are the best for a
healthy mature growth of a child. We have a stigma to care and touch when we
deal with others. It may be cultural, social, religious, racial, financial or
other conditioned response. Individualism is the norm now. We are even reluctant
to listen to others. That is the reason the hugging mother like Matha
Amrithandha Mai is very popular - some one is there to touch and listen!
The mother of Jimmy Carter ( former president of United States) Miss Lillian saw leprosy for the first time when she worked as a volunteer nurse in Bombay, India. She moved away at first when she saw a small girl with leprous sores coming to the clinic. With a mask she gave the first shot. Then she went and scrubbed the entire body red and raw and she became sick. But every week, she treated the leprous child. Time passed. Her stigma subsided. She managed not to turn her face away. Then the spirit of the child bloomed and sores faded. The child started to look on her with trust anxiously. Lillian and the child started to smile to each other. They spoke a few Marathi words and reached and held each other's hand. When Lillian kissed the child's lips, she didn’t feel unclean.
God says, "I love you, and I will be with you, no matter what happens." The presence of one who cares is a healing, nurturing gift. When we give our presence to another person, especially one who is lonely, needy, or outcast, the blessing returns to us.
Lord, Make us ready to be a channel of presence
and comfort to those who are needy, sick, and lonely. Give us a new heart to
treat everybody as our own body. This we ask in the name of Jesus.
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