By BECKY SIEWERS
CONNECTING FAITH AND LIFE
“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom … the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity” (James 3:13, 17).
What is it about Pope Francis that has captured our attention? He is a major world figure of
course. But his manner goes beyond fame. We are drawn to his wisdom and humility. He is a
living example of discipleship. He imitates Christ, just as each of us is called to do. He lives
the kind of gospel love we read about, using patience, kindness, humility, hopefulness and a
perseverance. But what about us? We might not have the world watching us, but we are still
being watched. Do the people around us know we are believers by our actions? Can they tell
based on what we say and how we treat others? Do our actions back up our beliefs?
We have all experienced so much in the last months. Striving to use precautions to stay
healthy, and keep others healthy, while trying to maintain a somewhat normal life. And lately,
watching the protesters as they express their wants for justice to be done. It’s easy sometimes
for our egos to get inflated, so when we do feel the need to speak out, our end result shouldn’t
be to indulge in self-righteous and indignation, but it should be to further justice and
compassion. We can all have areas of darkness in our hearts, and there will always be
individuals and groups we struggle to accept. But we must remember to be humble and kind in
each thing that we do. We hear a steady stream of words as people express themselves and
what should be done to find justice for each human being. Sometimes promises made turn out
to be empty. We all try to be good, to reform our ways as needed and make things right. We
can all use convincing words, but do our actions carry the same message?
Life is full of choices. Those choices affect us on a personal level, and on a greater level of how
each human being should be treated. We need to choose honesty over deceit, kindness over
cruelty, humility over pride, those are the choices that matter. We see examples of injustice
everywhere in the world. What can we do? How can we have any impact on such huge acts?
There are ways to act. No one can stop your prayers. No one can prevent your donations to
worthy causes seeking justice. No one can prevent you from working for peace and justice in
our country, in our world. We need that kind of Christian witness and action to know that he will
bring “justice to victory.”
There is a song by Tim McGraw that I really like called “Humble and Kind.” It has many down-to-earth phrases I believe are important but one part, in particular, should be a goal for us. “Don’t
take for granted the love this life gives you, when you get where you’re goin’, don’t forget to turn back around, help the next one in line and always stay humble and kind.”
It’s in those moments we can be the examples that Jesus gave us, the example that Pope Francis continues to show us today. I pray for peace to come to those who are asking for justice, to be treated fairly and equally. That by being humble and kind each day, we pass on the peace, love and kindness we all deserve.