Tuesday of Week 25 in Ordinary Time
A man’s conduct may strike him as upright, the Lord, however, weighs the heart.
Have you ever tried to stand in front of the mirror and take a long, hard look at yourself? It can be a really uncomfortable ritual. What I am suggesting is different from the habitual morning preparation of washing one’s face, brushing one’s teeth, and shaving one’s stubble. I recall a period in my life when I was existing in a challenging haze… I would stumble out of bed and unthinkingly move from task to task without ever pausing and really looking at myself.
Perhaps, I was going through a haze of depression back then… I distinctly recall suddenly confronting my own reflection one day, after whole lot of tears, and realising that I had not even spent one full minute being with myself and acknowledging my sadness. And so I did just that. I looked.
This new effort took me by surprise. I squirmed a little. But I looked hard at the woman in the reflection and regarded this person as I would a long lost friend. I felt a mixture of mirth and sorrow as I recognised the loneliness in my eyes, the new landscape of my features, the new roundness of my cheeks, and the sallow colour of my skin. There before me stood both a person I know, and a soul I had lost touch with for quite some time.
It was bittersweet to meet myself again.
Can you imagine our Lord longing to connect with you every single moment of each day? Do you recall brushing Him off? Have you also brushed off your own needs, simply because you were needed by so many other people and situations at every turn?
The readings today prompt us to slow down and examine our conscience and consciousness. How closely have we walked with God? Jesus had said in Luke 8:19-21, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it to practice.” Meanwhile, the first reading in Proverbs 21 reminds us, “A man’s conduct may strike him as upright, the Lord, however, weighs the heart.” Psalm 119 echoes, “Train me to observe your law, to keep it with my heart.”
In order to really know, observe, and practice God’s commands, we must first know ourselves. Or at least, be willing to sit with ourselves (on the good and bad days) and allow the light of His Word to shine into our souls. It is not easy – because sometimes, we may not like what we see in ourselves. However, our Lord is truly full of grace and mercy. And He sees more generously than we do. His ways are higher than our ways. No matter how ugly we may feel, He is able to weigh the purity of our intentions. He meets us wherever we are. This is the heart of the Heavenly Father.
Perhaps, give this a go: make a new effort to look into your own eyes. Befriend your soul; sit with the loneliness that might reside behind your ambition or aimlessness; notice the spaces for improvements; withhold harsh judgement; recognise and celebrate the pain and growth you have encountered; and importantly, acknowledge and affirm the beauty in you. You are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made – give thanks to God for that!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Debbie Loo)
Prayer: Create in me a clean heart O God. Help me to me gentle with my soul. Teach me to befriend myself and help me to desire to walk closely with you.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for knitting me in my mother’s womb and giving me a soul that wants to know you and seeks you.