By Rev. Kurt Condra
At the Mayo Clinic -- acclaimed for its integrative approach to medicine -- the Sisters of St. Francis teach the staff to treat every patient as if they were treating Jesus Christ. That's good advice for all of our relationships, but what about those whose Christ light is well-camouflaged?
My late uncle was artful in his practice of seeing the best in everyone and everything. I once served him a steak so tough it was hard to cut, let alone swallow. Unfazed, Uncle Bob choked down a bite and without a hint of irony declared,"Good flavor!"
It's brilliant because it affirms a legitimate attribute without reference to deficiency. Philippians 4:8 suggests the same formula: "Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
No matter the appearance, every life experience presents us with a gift that's commendable and worthy of praise. We often find it pleasing. Sometimes what is just and pure may simply be a divine appointment to practice unconditional love. Like the staff at the Mayo Clinic we, too, are called (and equipped) to treat others as if they were Jesus.
I wrote this message for a Lent booklet published by "big" Unity. It's a guide for a 40-day spiritual practice based on the idea of fasting from negativity and feasting on truth. (Officially, Lent began March 6 but, as of this morning, free copies could still be ordered online: Click here.