Friday, December 24, 2010

Who Cares If I Live?

For some people Christmas is a reminder of the gifts they don’t receive. They are, or feel, alone. The meditations I wrote here on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary displayed some similar feelings; I speculated that even Jesus may have felt such sorrows --- certainly there are times when I do. There are times in all of our lives when we don’t feel that important, when we feel unloved, when we feel not needed ---- or even, not wanted. At those times there is one very important thing to remember: They are just times, and time does march on. Those times will change.

Just as every life has times when things are feeling bad, every life, EVERY LIFE has times when things will feel good. So often our problem is that we want those good times now, RIGHT NOW. We may even say (in our huge and great wisdom) that: “I NEED those good feelings, those good times, NOW.” That is what we feel; that is what we think.

The real problem with our feelings and what we may be thinking however, is that we don’t know what others are feeling and thinking. We feel alone, or unimportant, or unneeded, or unloved, but all of these feelings relate to someone else. They are the ones who might be with us – so we are not alone, or they might value us as important to them, or they may desperately feel they NEED us, or they may love us but have no words to say it. And then we don’t know. So then, when we have all these bad feelings about ourselves and our worth, we need to remember that when we think these things that we are ASSUMING that we know what other people think and feel about us. How presumptuous of us!!

I thought only God knew such things about another person. Sorry, but I’m not him and I don’t think you are either. And even if you were so sure of these feelings of others that you might as well be Him, I offer you a further challenge: go read those meditations I had written on the Sorrowful Mysteries. I am very confident that Jesus, even God, had thoughts of loneliness, of feeling unloved, of feeling unimportant. These are feelings of human beings. This is life; all people have these feelings. But no one, no one save God, knows truly what another person is feeling or thinking about him. Unless ………..

When I went out this morning to my house to pick up my mail, I stopped at the local 7-11 store. I stop there most mornings on the way to church. I know the names of all the store clerks there; I see them often enough. But they are just casual people I pass during my day. They are no one special to me, nor me to them. But …..

This morning as I purchased a coffee and paper the woman behind the counter, Kim, handed me a Christmas card; I had given her one a few days back, as I do to many people. I said thanks and tucked it in the paper and came back here to mom’s house. I finally got around to opening the card this afternoon, and saw that she had added some words to those on the card:

Peace to you this season and always.
As my days are usually filled with the hetic mornings of work + orders, it’s the wonderful people like you, whom I look forward to see each day, with always a smile or kind words or a humorus tale to tell, that brightens my day. You kind heart, and spitual light, and gift are appreciated more than you’ll ever know. I thank God that I’ve come to know you, and as always, I pray that you keep in good health and faith. God bless you.
Merry Christmas

“More than you’ll ever know.”

Alone? No one cares? Un-needed? How do you know that? For some people, your very existence is a needed thing. You don’t need to do anything, just say “Hi” or just smile sometimes. And you may be, no, you will likely be needed “more than you’ll ever know.”

Who cares if you live? God cares. He cares through each and every person who comes into your life, even if they just pass you by in the hallway, or treat you for your many illnesses in the hospital. You matter to them; God put them into your life for a reason, and He felt they needed to see you, to hear you, or just to be near to you. Our lives are not all about our plans; we were created in a world made according to HIS plans. Even the bad things of our lives fit into the whole pattern of life, of creation. We are all important. He made us so.

Most of us never know or hear what another person is thinking or feeling, unless …. In those rare instances they, or God, lets us know. Mostly though, we will never know. We’ll just have to take it as a matter of faith that we are loved and needed, even if we don’t get told so. But ….. even if we never get a card such as I received this morning, we CAN give one. You feel like you are alone or unneeded or unloved? Then give a card as my store friend did, or just wish someone a Merry Christmas and tell them how thankful you are that you knew them during this past year. They may be just the words they need to hear. Who knows what they are feeling or needing right now?

You don’t.


  1. Tom, thank you for these lovely words and the example you gave with your Christmas Card from your friend, Kim.

  2. Thanks, Anne. I just try to be a friend to those who need a friend. Sometimes you just don't know who those people are, but it's nice when they tell you.

    But your comment re-enforces the fact that you, Anne, have never flown!! The picture at the start was taken as I exited my parish church on Sunday. It is a huge replica of the Holy Spirit window which sits in St. Peter's in Rome. Every time I see it I am in awe, and again remember the awe of St. Peter's. You must see it (St. Peter's that is) some day.