A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Making Connections

Posted on: March 4, 2016

Something might seem obvious to others—as plain as the nose on one’s face—and yet we can’t see it. Sometimes we’re so focussed on our problems that we can’t see what’s right in front of us.

Personally, I’m a bit stressed right now, a state as familiar as breathing for most of us these days. And I’ve been feeling kind of alone as I try to cope with the stress. I’m a bit guarded, so my support system isn’t as big as I’d like it to be.

All of a sudden, I’ve found myself being offered support when I just took a moment to reach out—from my extended family, my pastor, my music teacher, even a couple of my yoga instructors. A kind word in person or by e-mail and phone, an offer of prayer, an invitation to talk if I needed to, a quick hug.

These caring people might have been obvious sources of support to others, and yet I hadn’t realized I could count on their kindness.

How often do we miss the opportunities God presents us with to turn to family and friends for comfort or advice, to make a new friend, to support a colleague, to help a neighbour? How often do we miss the chance to connect with others because we’re hesitant to count on others and to trust? How often do we keep relationships superficially friendly because we’re afraid to open up in case others don’t like what they see?

So much of our contact these days doesn’t go beyond the surface. We deal with automated telephone systems and tellers and auto-reply messages. We like, share, and connect online but don’t form real relationships.

We need to open our eyes and our hearts to the chances God gives us to form new and lasting friendships and partnerships so that, when we need to rely on others because of illness or some other crisis, we don’t find ourselves standing alone—and so that we can offer that helping hand, that listening ear, that shoulder to cry on when someone else needs it.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.

~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

(*Scripture quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition.)


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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