A man walked into an unfamiliar store. In his hands, a list of items necessary for his wife, who was struggling with a debilitating illness. His mind reeled from his inability to find answers and the lack of comfort possible for him to bring to his wife. He stood, still, in the middle of the store aisle, staring at the list. But really, he was staring beyond the list, searching, crying for her relief. He remained in this frozen state long enough to unknowingly attract the attention of those around him. A clerk gently touched him on the elbow, asking if assistance was needed. This, normally quite polished, man had no words, other than to mutter about his wife’s illness. The clerk gently recommended he retrieve a basket, while she looked over the list. Together they gathered the necessary items, and she deposited him at the checkout counter with, “It has been an honor to serve you.” This is healing.
In this man’s greatest moment of pain, the clerk stepped in to hold his fragmenting thoughts. Instead of walking around him, she walked with him. This clerk could have politely said, “Excuse me sir, you’re blocking the entrance. Would you move over?” As completely appropriate and kind as that question would’ve been, this would not have supported him, this would not have brought a touch of healing to his chafed heart. Her choice of action brought a bit of healing to his tired, aching soul. It also brought about communal healing. Acts of public kindness begin to repair the rift created by violent and cruel acts. If we are not mending our societal ills, we are contributing to them. In that store, on that day, two hearts took part in a healing interaction; one that showed, God cares about your health and that people still take part in showing that love. One stitch was put into the tear of the fabric of society; a kind word spoken, a bit of care offered, reminds the soul of it’s worth. Understanding its worth is the healing of the soul, and the fuel to pass on that same understanding to others.
Remember with me, the last time someone met you in a very difficult, perhaps unbearable, time. How was their care and concern conveyed? Remember the scent of the food they brought, the feel of the book, the comfort of the blanket, the beauty in the flower, the care in the card. And what were they really conveying to you? That you, in your pain, in your tragedy, in your isolation, are valued, are worthy, are loved. Healing is reminding our heads that our beings have worth. And this reminder is often a gift from God through other humans, who give us the face of Jesus through their hands. Stop and notice the healing moments you experienced today; a smile from a coworker, a compliment from a friend, friendly words exchanged with the store clerk, a moment of wonder in your children. The healing comes in small bits; a bit of grace, here, a touch of mercy, there. And bit by bit, the heart heals, grows resiliency to the vicious attacks, and an openness to the surprising moments of healing. This is God’s insidious work of healing, one surprising, grace filled, moment at a time, which begins to reshape the horror in our history. Keep your eyes open, less you miss it!
We are aware of the magnitude of this subject matter and the inadequate brevity of this post. For more, please reference our podcasts, our 1Community groups, or feel free to email us at Uniquelythesame@mission1race.org.