“Rejoice in the good that has been given to you” -St. Teresa of Avila
What is it that makes you different? What is unique about you? There is definitely something, there is always something, we all have something. What is it for you? There is the scientific aspect of uniqueness, we have DNA and it surely points to a singularity in our being but is there more?
I for instance have a very distinct name, it is a burden and a blessing from its spelling to its pronunciation. I’ve been challenged to find creative ways of helping people remember it and I have even added little phrases like, “it is like saying, ‘No-Emmy’ from the Emmy awards”. But it has become an icebreaker to get to know people and for people to get to know me. I have found that when people meet each other for the first time, an almost natural drift occurs towards asking personal questions. We always begin with, “Hello, what is your name?” It is so routine that we forget to step back and wonder why a name is the first thing that interests us about a stranger. We can argue that it is just a common practice or a social norm. But what usually follows after we are given the name? Almost immediately there is this question: “Is there a meaning behind it?”
We naturally seek to find that which makes a person different from the rest, we search and we inquire and we probe until we come to see the individuality of that person.
“What do you like to do?”
“What do you currently do?”
“What do you want to do?”
“What is your story?”
These are little approaches to another person’s soul and we can take them lightly considering them simply “small talk”, but they reveal so much more. They reveal our personal talents and gifts. And yet, have we considered what those are? What are those things that bear the fruit of happiness in our life? What is it in our way of being that reveals a love and expression of joy distinct from anyother?
Our inner desires, for one, have the potential of revealing this to us. They are not random pulses of the heart that want to be realized, they are seeds of life, of love placed there by God. Those things that animate our soul and form our character. What are those things that bring us joy and exercise our will?
I like personal stories so I will sit with someone and listen to their life’s journey. I desire purity of heart so I will seek to understand it through prayer and action.
Where does our will find its drive and desire if not from the heart. Little seeds that lie at the center of our heart are what feed our will, our emotions, our intellect and if we do not know what they are how can we nourish them and make them fruitful. The seeds of talent, the seeds of gift, the seeds of character, grace, love, and desire are all within reach we just have to know how to get to them and which to prune. This is what sets us apart. And it is in our power to know ourselves as God knows us, he gave us the grace to achieve this and our response makes all the difference.
There is not another one of you who will take the baton as in a relay, you are it and the wholeness of your being, body and soul, is as distinct as the genes in your body. Through God’s grace you will come to realize the singular and unrepeatable expression of love that He desired to reveal to the world through you.
Does this manifestation of Love depend on us? No. Does it exist regardless of our participation? Yes! But can it tangibly be expressed without our participation? No, God choose to make it this way. Not because he needs our help in loving but because he Loves us and wants us to experience Him in and through love. Love exists regardless of our being but it cannot be expressed without our being. There is a canvas that is waiting to be filled. It displays one life and yet represents all life. Our unity in love provides the strokes and yet in the end it is our individual person-hood that, when put together, creates its artistic beauty.
God made each person not for the sake of mass production but in his Omniscience he knew that for each person he created there would be one more unrepeatable way of loving. His love finds its expression in us and it is our individual existence that creates the window through which love flows. The dignity of our existence and the worth of our stroke on the canvas of life is witnessed in love. How will you paint your portion of love?