Saturday, January 23, 2016
He is our teachable moment
My mind has been swimming with the ideas this article puts forth for several days and I've come to the conclusion that if this writer is correct, that we exist only for ourselves without going out to others, then Dominic's life, and those like him, are worthless. I mean really, what is the point of someone who can not speak or "do" much of anything in this author's view of reality? Clearly, they burden society with their substantial medical costs and inconvenience. And let's face it, it's unpleasant to see a contorted "should-have" of a person. So, what's the point really of their existence if they are looked at through this lens?
But that author is wrong. Thank God, she is very wrong. Who are we if not one body, placed here on this earth to teach, love, and build up others? What would our life look like if we didn't go outside of ourselves to reach others and share our very beings with them? Is this not exactly what we've been asked to do: "Love your neighbor as yourself?" We love others through the sometimes uncomfortable and difficult task of reaching out and being open to know someone and let them know you. However, our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak.
Don't we all go around immersed in ourselves, hardly able to pry our eyes off the screen in our hand? Wouldn't we all rather not be bothered with the needs of others? How often do we parents answer a child's demand with a sigh and reluctant half-hearted gesture? It's human nature after all, the state of our poor souls after the fall. And it is because of this tendency towards selfishness that I believe Dominic and those like him are teachers. They are here to make us look up, make us go out of ourselves, out of our comfort zone. Make us serve. Make us love.
The author of the article ended her rant with "I'm not your teachable moment." That last line left me so sad for her. I wanted to yell through the screen, "But, you are! We all are!" I wanted to tell her about Dominic and how people know him when we go out in public. People I've never even met know Dominic. They come up and touch him, smile at him, love him, and greet him by name. And often even those who have never met Dominic and do not know our story touch him as they walk by. Their light brush of his cheek or rustle of his hair is them going out of their comfort zone, out of themselves for another and learning to love. Sometimes they look, stare really, at him, shocked, then look at me and smile a genuine smile of compassion, as if to say "ah, at first I was sad for him, but now I'm happy for you." He is their teacher. He says nothing, does nothing, but in his inability, he teaches them to love. He is our teachable moment.