Blog Archives

This Is About More Than Self Esteem…

downs syndrome touchdownDevotional Thought of the Day:
22  In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23  And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24  while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25  This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27  All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:22-28 (NLT2)

The more fragile and vulnerable the persons are, the more we have to recognize their worth. Their dignity has to be aided, loved, defended and promoted. This is not negotiable

You see the videos start to come out this time of year, the football games where, i the last minutes, a young man is substituted in, and runs the entire field for a touchdown, cheered on by the players of BOTH teams.

Usually, the young man is affected by Down’s Syndrome, or perhaps is autistic. He usually just hangs out with the team, and wins their friendship by their determination to do whatever they can do.  And so the “reward” for being part of the team is the run for the touchdown,  The chance to be the star of the game and the center of attention for an accomplishment that only someone “normal” could make.

Yet oddly enough, it is that play that the teammates will remember all their lives, it is that moment that will impact them more than the trophies, more than the victories, it is that moment that defines them.

While it appears to be all about the young man who will score, it is about more than that.  While it appears to be something to boost one person’s self-esteem, it is far more than that.

It is about our collective soul, about the fact that we aren’t just a group of individuals, but that we are, one people.

And as such, we cannot deny the dignity of an individual without comprising the entire body of humanity, without the entire community of mankind.

And yet we do this, as trash-talking has moved off the court, and off the field, into our daily lives. We see it constantly as criticism, so widespread in our culture, is so rarely constructive, but meant to belittle, to tear down, even destroy those we see as so different from ourselves.

Yet, all we are doing is destroying ourselves.  When we fail to see the dignity in the baby in the womb, or the elderly person who only can devote their time to prayer.  When we can’t see the work of God in the creation of our adversaries, when we try to eliminate the people in our lives who are a pain in our ass, what we are doing is crushing ourselves. We don’t know how weak and vulnerable they are, though we all know we need to find God as our refuge….as our safe place.

The answer to this, in my opinion, is understanding the nature of our baptism.  For there, Paul tells, the Romans and Colossians, we are joined with Christ’s death, and raised with Him. We are united to Him, and we are promised that hear the Spirit replaces our heart with Christ’s, and our minds are renewed to be like Him.

But if this happens to one of us, it happens, they become part of the whole Body of Christ. And the great cloud of witnesses cheers us on, as we run the race set before us, which Christ has already won for us all.

So, before you open your mouth, before your fingers type that next message on social media, this about the blessing of your baptism, and the blessings the other person has received or hopefully will receive soon, and instead of tearing them down, hand them the ball… and run beside them in the race!

 
Pope Francis. (2013). A Year with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections from His Writings. (A. Rossa, Ed.) (p. 329). New York; Mahwah, NJ; Toronto, ON: Paulist Press; Novalis.

%d bloggers like this: