Friday, January 12, 2018
Here’s a question to ask at a party when the conversation lags. Ready? “What is one of the most common sounds heard in this century?”
It’s “click.” The light bulb goes on. The radio alarm, the electric razor, the food processor. Click. The MRI machine, copy machine, DVD. Click. On-off. Click. So much of everyday life involves a click.
Yet there are things in life that do not click on and off, like steadfastness, caring and generosity.
Then, too, some things begin when we are unaware of them and move into our consciousness and emotions, for better or worse, there to be harbored or cultivated – like attitudes toward people whose color is different from ours or enhancing our daily living by a series of “must haves.”
Take relationships for example. Surely we can say that he/she and I clicked immediately when we met – but if the relationship is to grow after that, what’s needed? Work, that’s what.
The relationships of our lives – relationships with God or people, require staying power and work, and that work requires openness.
Jesus was open to the people he met along the way – even those who eventually showed themselves to be his opponents. He was open to their questions, their need for healing, their hesitant hearts. Some came and stayed. The American Presbyterian Clergywoman Rachel Strubas says of the leper whom Jesus cured that “he was rehumanized by Jesus’ touch.” Others came and sipped from the cup of life. Others poured out the water of life on the earth and walked away. But Jesus remained open, never withholding Himself from others, even on the cross.
How open we are? Do we really listen to what others are telling us or are we preparing our response instead of listening? Or do we grow weary of hearing the stories of the pain of others and tune them out? Do we take in what others offer by way of gift or suggestion or are we limited by our own tastes and desires? Do our minds and hearts have narrow borders that we prefer not to cross? Do we go out into the world and treasure its adventures or does fear of the unknown hold us back?
It’s a new year. Unexpected things may click in us. How open are we to them?
~Sister Joan Sobala