|We each have the power to diminish or strengthen the life around us.
In Rachel Remen's book, My Grandfather's Blessings, she tells the story of Sara who suffered with an eating disorder before most doctors even knew what it was. Her family and friends didn't understand why she would bring such suffering upon herself. She didn't either. She barely survived.
But some 20 years later Sara noticed a flyer for a bulimia support group. Though long since recovered, she was intrigued and decided to attend. She didn't say much at the meeting except that she had had bulimia as a girl. After the meeting, one of those attending thanked Sara for coming, and with tears in her eyes, said how much it meant to know it was possible to recover.
When Sara got home, she looked at her husband and said, "I have become the person I needed to meet."
Dr. Meg Jay, our Faith Forum guest last Sunday, spoke about the importance of helping those who are struggling with the very same things that challenged us. Last night a member of our parish who attempted suicide twice while in his twenties spoke to a room full of teenagers and young adults who gathered grieving the suicide of a friend. He helped them better understand mental illness and how important it is to ask for and get help when we need it.
Theologian Henri Nouwen would have named him a wounded healer. For when we show compassion and care for those whose wounds are like our own, healing flows both ways. It is one of the many ways that we are wonderfully made, as Psalm 139:13 says.
Perhaps someone needs to meet you. Perhaps there is someone you need to meet. None of us is absolved from the responsibility of recognizing that our lives touch each other's. It is one of the many ways that what we do wonderfully matters, too.