Monday, November 5, 2018

‘The Least of These’ Within Yourself


When you hear the phrase, “the least of these” who comes first to your mind? My initial response was always someone else. Never me, of course. I even once wrote a song about it, naming a litany of poor, pitiful, lonely hearts…

So many lonely I see all the time
reminding me vaguely of a friend of mine
strangely familiar like someone I know
despised and rejected but straight on I go

The song was a prayer:

HELP ME TO SEE THEM
THROUGH YOUR EYES OF LOVE
FILL WITH COMPASSION
MY HEART FROM ABOVE



I never included myself in the mix. Then one day the eyes of this blind beggar were opened and I was able to see my own need for healing and wholeness, to recognize the wounded healer within.  I began to contemplate the words of C.G. Jung, who aptly addresses this subject in his autobiographical work, Memories, Dreams, Reflections:

“But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself – that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness – that I myself am the enemy who must be loved –
What then? As a rule, the Christian's attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering. We say to the brother within us 'Raca,' and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.”

After a while I grew weary of the never-ending internal warfare. One day I awoke to the reality that I needed to be gentler with myself, more loving and forgiving. I needed to be still and let God love me and teach me how to love my neighbor as myself. Then and only then was I free from self-condemnation. For it’s true that we Christians tend to be harder on ourselves than we are with others. 

What about you? When have you recognized ‘the least of these’ within yourself?


24 comments:

  1. I think when we retire, and we realize that this is actually the last stage of our life - then we start looking into ourselves, listening to our body and soul, loving ourselves.

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  2. DUTA: How true.This is also the stage when we are more likely to discover our own inner wisdom and spiritual authority.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are ever humble, but always found standing your ground.
    It is who you are. It is what you do. I appreciate that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Likewise, Michael. Hugs, my friend. Have you committed any new poetry lately?

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  5. We need to recognize that we, too, are the least of these, and learn to love ourselves as Christ loves us. We are sinners blessed by grace, and forgiven those sins as far as the east is from the west. When we go to God in prayer, let us ever be thankful for His grace, that He would be mindful of us, and let that overflow into our compassion for others.
    Blessings, Debra!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the godly perspective Martha. Thank you.

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