If you’re looking for a sneak peek at the content of this entry you’ll find it in this week’s daily play.
Take a look at your schedule for today. For most of us it is full. So much so, that it’s almost defeating just to glimpse the list in its entirety, but discussing how we fill our time is not my objective today. Take a closer look at your agenda. What are the tasks that dominate your day? Is it that 9-5? Is it the chores of managing a household? Is it research and study for school? Is it writing that book you’ve been working on? Now take a moment and break these things up into two categories. One, things that I am doing for myself. And two, things that I am doing for someone else.
Today I’d like you to focus on the things you are doing for someone else. Take a look at the list and ask that wonderful, one word question. Why?
Now take a look at that list. Could any of those motivations fall in the category of bringing healing? I believe that there is a desire in all of us to help others. In a manner of speaking, we all want to be a hero of sorts. We want to heal the woes of the world, but we often get bogged down in the day to day tyranny of obligation and duty. Note here that for some of us the duty and obligation may be in service to this desire to heal, but we may find ourselves without the substance of spirit that is capable of bringing healing. Regardless, the desire is there, and I believe that acting on this desire is part of an abundant life.
How then do we act on this? This is where it gets a little messy, so take what I say as a primer. It’s an elementary approach to something far greater. That said, here are some thoughts that may help you along the way.
- There are greater and lesser things, but you might be surprised at which is which. The greater may in fact be doing your children’s laundry or taking time to cook dinner and sit down at the table. It may be the manner in which you lead your team in an unimportant project at work. The value of what we do is not up to us to decide. Nor is it up to our neighbor to judge.
- People in need are everywhere. Find people in need and serve them. Maybe this is a neighbor going through a rough stretch. Are you friend enough that they’ll let you struggle alongside them? It can also be the homeless community in your city. Who’s serving and where? What part can you play?
- Be willing to see the person behind the problem. People are far more than their problems. Get to know them as a person and you’ll enlarge your life and your power to heal (and be healed).
- Be healed. Healing is often effective both ways. You’d be amazed at what you can learn from, or how you can be blessed by a homeless man, a drug addict, a prostitute, a child, a divorcee, a broken friend. What have you learned from others who are hurting?
- Know and pursue your passions. How can your passions bring healing to people and the world?
Let me close with a personal realization. Some of this may be universal; some of it may just be me, but I hope it will help clarify some of the things I’ve mentioned here today. I like creating. I like writing. I like dance. I like music. I like teaching. I like dreaming. I am using the word like deliberately here. Why don’t I say I love these things? I have in the past. It is for this reason. As much as I enjoy these things, I don’t enjoy them enough that I would serve them as an end. They are never the destination.
What does that mean?
Well, it means this. I like dance, but I rarely dance for the sake of dancing. I like music, but I rarely play music for the sake of playing music. I like writing, but I rarely write for the sake of writing. For me, it is about the shared experience with other people. I love the unique moment a dance creates, especially one shared with another person. I love what happens when several musicians come together to create. I love it when my writing touches people in ways I never expected. My reason for doing these things is partly because I like them, but the greater motivation is what they allow me to do with and for others. I love people. The greatest motivation for me to do these things is seeing the manner in which they bless others and help them to grow spiritually, emotionally and physically. It is a heart for healing.
What I don’t want you to hear is that you have to be just like me. I know many people who truly love music, or dance, or writing. For them, not doing these things would be equivalent to ceasing to breathe. What I do want you to hear is that seeking ways to help others is something I believe is integral to a full life, and it will be a blessing to them and to you. That age old command comes to mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Do you have a heart for healing? How are you cultivating a life that loves and serves others?