by Michael Ketterhagen
“There’s nothing wrong with you, Dad!
You don’t have to fix yourself!”
“Respect (re-spect = ‘to see a second time’). Any[thing] that calls forth respect …
is ‘the Christ’ for us at that moment.”
--Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ
When Luke said this to me, my whole day and attitude toward life changed. All my life I have been working hard to be a saint. I remember saying to one of my seminary friends after he questioned me about becoming a saint, “Yes! I want to be a saint.”
But I had started from the wrong place. I started thinking that it was me who would make me a saint because I was raised in the Christian Tradition of “humans are sinners.” I never really believed in that, but my thoughts and actions told a different story. I had a healthy case of “self-hatred.”
So, what was I to do except work very hard in presenting myself as a saintly person, fixing everything that didn’t seem to imitate Jesus of Nazareth’s way of life. I had forgotten myself completely and was focused on proving to myself and to all who entered my life (of course, except my wife and children) that I truly was making myself into a saint.
I had forgotten to take “a second” look at myself. I had forgotten to see myself as a child of God, the image of the divine in human “clothes.” Just like Jesus, forgetting often that he also was a human being, I just needed to trust in my inner divinity, my internal father. I had forgotten that that is all that Jesus did—trusted in his oneness with his Beloved Father within him, always guiding and protecting him on his journey back to his Divine Source of Life.
I had forgotten to respect myself, my TRUE SELF! I had forgotten the most significant teachings of Jesus, the Christ, and the Yoga Tradition. The “kingdom/reign/presence of God is within me, in my midst.”
I didn’t need to fix myself because as my son said, “There is nothing wrong with you!” Hearing that and now “respecting” (seeing a second time) that truth has made all the difference in my recent life. It ignited deep within me the remembrance of my core life. I no longer needed to worry about being like anyone else, even Christ or my yoga teacher. All I needed to be like was me!
I pray that you may know that too! I pray to the divinity in you!