Yesterday our priest told us that there are two most important days in our life: The day we’re born, and the day we realize why we were born. There have been times I thought maybe it was that latter day, but I’m not sure. I know one of the reasons everyone of us was put here – to love. I fail at that mission every single day of my life. It’s so easy to love the ones who love me first or who love me back. It’s the people who don’t love me, especially the people who let me know they don’t love me, with whom I struggle. It’s the people who don’t appreciate when I’ve done something for them, with whom I struggle. It’s the people who decide who I am without bothering to get to know me, with whom I struggle.
That’s a lot of people. It’s easy to see Jesus in the poor who are grateful. It’s easy to see Him in the sick who are patient and uncomplaining. It’s easy to see Him in the needy who make you feel better when you do something nice for them. It’s not easy to see Him in the drunk beggar who curses you for only giving him a $5 bill; or the single mother who doesn’t say thank you for the help you’ve just given her, but asks why you couldn’t do more, and then complains that no one ever does anything for her. It’s even more difficult when the people you’re trying to help blaspheme the very God who you’re trying to see in them.
But that’s what we’re all born to do. Part of loving others in asking forgiveness – forgiveness for the times we’ve failed to love because we were too busy or too hurt or too selfish to even see those we were being called upon to love.
Maybe we all have the same mission, but it manifests itself uniquely in each of us through our individual talents and gifts. Was Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta very different from the firefighters who climbed the Twin Towers on that fateful September day? Were they different from the window washers who dress up like superheroes at children’s hospitals? Are they that dissimilar from the great writers like CS Lewis who challenge us to become better people? Are they very different from that person whose name we don’t even know but did something to put a smile on our face on a difficult day? All of them live or lived their lives doing vastly different jobs, but all them do what they do because they are motivated by love – love for people they don’t even know, people who don’t always appreciate what they do and sometimes don’t even see that they exist.
I wonder how many of them knew when they celebrated the day when they learned why they were born or how many of them died never knowing that they were fulfilling their special gift? I may never figure out what God had in mind when He created me, but I hope that somehow His plan is realized even if it’s without my awareness.
To everyone in whom I’ve neglected to see the face of Jesus or failed to even see – forgive me. Being a Christian doesn’t mean I’m not a sinner; it doesn’t prevent me from sometimes being blind. And it certainly doesn’t mean I’m perfect. It just means I’m trying to do better. Better at what, I don’t know, but with His help, I have hope of figuring that out.
What did God create you to do?