Maybe you're relatively young, but you have a chronic, debilitating disease.
Maybe you're currently going through very rough chemo or a rough break-up of a relationship and you're exhausted.
Maybe arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can cripple you on rainy days and you don't have the same strength any more.
Maybe your mind feels trapped in a prison of grief or regret.
Maybe you're having a bad time at your job. Or you just can't "reach" one of your children or a friend.
Maybe you're just having a bad week!
Part of being human is realizing at a particular time that we don't have the answers or talents that we need. A relationship doesn't come with instructions for assembly. Having a job doesn't automatically make us proficient at it or comfortable in it. Our bodies all come with a "Best used by" label. Followed by an "Expiration" stamp.
Everyone and everything is limited because this is an imperfect world and we are imperfect creations.
But all of us have one gift, one talent, one strength that not only never fails us but that we can always possess in abundance: LOVE. And there are always places and people hungry for every bit of love we can give.
Because God never considers us useless. God can use us to enrich God's world until our last breath. I've known people in Hospice who still smile graciously at their young nurses, who have rosaries or Bibles in their hands as they quietly pray for those who most need prayers. And power and glory surround their spirits!
Even if you feel physically useless or useless in an important relationship, you still see people during the week who DO need you, who'll appreciate a smile, a joke, a question about how he or she is doing. You still have the strength to listen, don't you? And someone may well have a chance to pour out a grieving heart to you and then say "You've just made my day!" Even if you're wounded, you still have the gift to heal. Maybe because you're wounded and well-acquainted with pain, you have that gift of healing.
And even if you may be useless in a situation, it's a wonderful humbler. It's a way to realize that God has someone else who is present or in the wings ready to come out who does have the gifts that are needed. Maybe you can't reach your child, but that teacher or counselor or clergy person can. Maybe you're too weak to cook dinner, but your spouse or your friend can. No one is always at his/her Best. But when we're at our Worst, someone else is at his/her Best - to temporarily fill our shoes, grace our lives, be God's hands, feet, and voice so we are Blessed even when we're not at our Best.
When you feel most useless, think of Jesus helpless on the cross, His hands and feet nailed so He could not move, His Sacred Heart pierced by a lance. Yet in His pain and helplessness, He saved the world because He loved us completely, even to the point of forgiveness of His tormenters and killers, even to the point of forgiveness of our sins.
And all the power and energy of His merciful Love stretches across the Universe, across all time, to empower and uplift you, right now, so that you too can love, you too can be a powerful instrument in His hands - even if you THINK you're useless. Give your tears and fears to His wounded Heart. Trust that even and especially from His cross, He is in control. All will be well for you according to His plan. All will be well.
"None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord, so then, whether we live or we die, we are the Lord's....Let us then pursue... peace, and to building up one another." (Romans 14: 7, 8, & 19.)
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