Another Point of View

Herz im Baum

When I was a child, I used to go to Mass and the Catholic Sunday School every week. At church I was taught who God was, who Jesus was, I studied many of the different parts of the Bible. As a child I never doubted any of the things I was taught but, when I grew up, I started to realize that something was wrong:

The information was confusing. God is up there, somewhere, then Jesus is God or at least His beloved son. It is not news that in the Catholic Church’s thinking, Jesus is considered way more than all of us. So I grew up thinking that Jesus was a better son compared to me, and therefore, I am a second-class son!

I honestly think that Jesus was a special man but the wrong idea behind this concept is that, as God’s sons, we are divided into different categories. This is wrong. I don’t personally feel this way, I don’t believe in a God like this and I also don’t think that Jesus considered Himself better than anyone else. The life God gives to all of us is equal in each of its parts.

I love Jesus very much. I look at what He’s done, I listen to what He’s said and I cannot feel anything less than admiration and love for the man He was. When I was a child, in times of difficulties, I found myself speaking to Jesus and asking Him for help, and as a grown up woman now I do the same.

The New Testament is part of the Bible in which Jesus’ life is described. Jesus was called “Rabbì” by His people, this word means teacher. It refers to a Master who explains things regarding the Divine. Jesus’ original form of teaching was by using parables. A parable is a story with a moral, in which the storyteller compares the story to another one.

In the modern world, the comprehension of the Bible is the territory of ecclesiastics and theologians but after my “awakening” from the church’s teachings, I’ve been lucky enough to find someone who is able to explain these concepts to me.

In the New Testament, in the Gospel of Matthew, it is written: “But when you do merciful deeds, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does”. The Church relates this specific verse to charity. The moral is to make the gentle act of helping someone financially in the silence of an intimate gesture.

In substance, the meaning behind “your left hand does not have to know what your right one does” is that we can behave in a charitable way without letting other people know about it. This is the explanation that everyone knows, and it is not a bad explanation to be honest!

But I’ve received a different one from my Master. He has given me a different side to the story, which I would like to share with you.

He said:

In the parable of the Gospel of Matthew 6,3, Jesus does not refer to charity, He was talking about the importance of helping people without letting the help be a weight on them. If I see someone in need, my heart tells me to do something. Let’s say that I comprehend what this person is in need of and that it is possible for me to help his situation.

The greatest reward I can ask for my action is to observe the change of the look on his face, to see a light that comes back to lighten up his eyes, our hands that hold one another in the spirit of brotherhood. The moment I feel this deep emotion, this profound empathy regarding his desperation, I absolve him from every kind of return.

The risk here is that the person does not feel absolved, but on the contrary, he feels even more burdened by the benevolence he is shown and his sorrow grows. The person adds to the incomprehension of his action, the stupidity that this moment has expressed. So my act of help has to be persistent, total, clear in every aspect, and I would add also pure.

The quote, “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does” does not refer to charity. What would this mean? If I do something because I feel moved by someone’s situation, I can do it but with the presence of mind to not turn my action toward this person into a situation where he can feel ashamed of himself, because this would only increase his discomfort.

Do things for others without converting them into shopping windows. Without saying: “Yes, it was me!” This is arrogance! This is hypocrisy!

Why do I feel the need to help someone? Because his state breaks me into a million pieces. The one-way street in which this person is stuck destroys me. I want love to be real and to feel it this way. Authentic love needs presence. This means immersing myself into this feeling, to become one with it; otherwise I don’t participate, I just look at something, but I remain outside.

I want to realize love. I want to feel it deep inside of me. If I don’t want that for me and for the other of me (since we are all connected), what’s the purpose of love?

Credits

Image Title Author License
Herz im Baum Herz im Baum Tamás Dávid Friedl CC BY-SA 3.0 at